Bridges Destroyed in Bottineau County Flooding

Souris, ND - As spring continues .. flooding is wreaking havoc across the state

Flooding from melting snow has filled ditches and farm fields along the Canadian border in North Dakota.

And in Bottineau County, it's caused some expensive damage to bridges.

Jim Olson reports in tonight's top story.

(Rich Gimbel, Bottineau Co. Road Superintendent) "The power of ice, and water."

Rich Gimbel has seen it first hand in the past few days.

(Rich Gimbel, Bottineau Co. Road Superintendent) "There used to be a retaining wall of wood here and the ice come so hard it busted the wall right off. And over there you can see the damage."

The water and ice of the Boundary Creek washed those pilings away - and took the entire bridge with them.

(Rich Gimbel, Bottineau County Road Superintendent) "I was here Thursday afternoon, everything was fine. I was running this creek. And Friday morning it was gone. So we headed down south to try and save the other bridges and we were able to do that at least."

Here's what one of the downstream bridges looks like - on Friday, it was floating on the surging water and Gimbel and his crews dumped dirt and rocks on it to keep it from becoming a battering ram that might take out other bridges downstream.

(Rich Gimbel, Bottineau Co. Road Superintendent) "It's just a large amount of ice. Large chunks. Some as large as pickups."

He was taking photos of the damage today - and marveling at how much better things looked a few days after the bridges were wrecked.

(Rich Gimbel, Bottineau Co. Road Superintendent) "Last week you had big ice chunks sitting here pushed up against the road. It's a total different view here. A lot better looking. I wish we could have made it through."

He says losing two bridges to the spring runoff will be expensive, since - unlike 2011 when six bridges were destroyed, there likely won't be federal funds through FEMA to pay any of the costs.

Near Bottineau, Jim Olson, KX News.

Gimbel says along with the bridge damage, there are several roads that have been washed out by the spring runoff.

 

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