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Doug Burgum

An engineer heading planned reconstruction of an aging dam in northeastern North Dakota warned the state’s governor Monday that upcoming rainfall could add pressure to the earthen structure already weakened by flooding. Zach Hermann, of Fargo-based Houston Engineering, told Gov. Doug Burgum and other state and local officials that he’s hoping the predicted precipitation will be spread out and not affect stabilization efforts on the 65-year-old Bourbanis Dam upstream of Cavalier. Last week, the North Dakota National Guard”s Black Hawk helicopters dropped more than 200 1-ton sandbags on the dam. The Minnesota National Guard’s Chinook helicopter placed two 5-ton water pumps capable of pumping 4,000 gallons per minute.

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North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum says state agencies may use their present budgets as a starting point for drafting new two-year spending plans. And although agency heads should consider inefficiencies, they won’t have to identify potential cuts. The Republican governor’s guidelines come as state coffers are fattened by soaring oil prices and revenue is far exceeding forecasts. Burgum signaled he intends to include a state employee pay raise in his next two-year budget recommendation, though he did not provide details on how much he will suggest to lawmakers, who may adopt an equal raise for themselves.

The North Dakota National Guard is helping to stabilize a dam in Cavalier County that is in danger of breaking and causing even worse flooding in the area. Gov. Doug Burgum, at the request of the Pembina County Emergency Management officials, authorized the National Guard to send two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to place sandbags weighing 1 ton to help stop the Bourbanis dam from failing. The Cavalier County Sheriff’s Department says Highway 5 east of Langdon from Highways 1 to 32 in Pembina County is closed until further notice. The National Weather Service continued a flood warning Tuesday for parts of northeastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. 

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