Water from the rising Lake Oahe is threatening the community of Fort Yates, where a meeting with tribal officials and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was held Tuesday.
Tribal chairman Charles Murphy said the corps and tribe will continue to evaluate the water levels, especially along the causeway that leads off the highway into the administrative community of Fort Yates.
The causeway is the town's only access and water has reached the top of the existing riprap along the sides. He said it's not expected that the rising water will overtop the causeway, but the situation will be continually monitored.
He said the corps will likely participate in adding riprap to protect the town's intake structure on Lake Oahe and the Sitting Bull Monument, which is at the edge of where the lake backflows around Fort Yates.
The chairman said some homes in an area of Fort Yates, the Sioux Village, were sandbagged against the rising water, but seepage into the home basements is still a problem.
Overall, Murphy said the situation is “so far, so good,” but high wind or more water could cause problems.
Lake Oahe is a corps-managed reservoir, which has now reached the flood control zone of 1,618.6 feet elevation. Releases were at 86,100 cubic feet per second, while the inflow was 126,000 cfs as of Tuesday.