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river gages photo

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will install two of these rapid-deployable gages on the Cannonball River near the Dakota Access protest camps in light of potential spring flooding during a year of heavy snowpack.

Two more gauges will be installed on the Cannonball River near the Dakota Access protest camp to measure water levels during potential spring flooding.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will install rapid-deployable, mobile gauges on the river near Solen and on the N.D. Highway 1806 river bridge directly adjacent to where hundreds remain camped in opposition to the pipeline construction.

Hundreds remain in protest and spirit camps along the river in the vicinity of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Clean-up efforts are underway in the main camp, while tribal and camp leaders are asking people to vacate for safety reasons ahead of possible high water.

In a press release, the corps reported heavy snowpack in the downstream reaches of the river expose the area to an above-normal flood risk at snow melt.

The agency says the additional gauges will provide more time for local officials and the public to react to river conditions. When they are installed, they can be monitored on the U. S. Geological Survey flood website at nd.water.usgs.gov/floodinfo/.

The corps warns that ice jams can also occur on that stretch of the Cannonball River causing rapid flooding; in that situation, the mobile gauges offer only minimal reaction time.

There is a permanent gauges located 15 miles west of the camp area at Breien.

The corps is also updating its snowpack estimates every Tuesday as spring melt approaches. Snowpack for the Missouri River system is at 110 percent of normal for the plains drainage and 78 percent of normal for the mountains drainage region.

(Reach Lauren Donovan at 701-220-5511 or lauren@westriv.com.)

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