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Posts Tagged ‘Souris River flooding’

Souris River Tops 1881 Historic Flood Level

Posted by feww on June 25, 2011

Minot Drowning as Souris River sinks 130-year flood record, more rain forecast for Missouri Basin

The river is still climbing and it forecast to crest at 1,564 feet above sea level by late Saturday.

Entire streets are under up to 8 feet of water, and the floodwaters continue to rise.

More then 12,000 of the city’s 41,000 residents are under evacuation orders.

“It’s dangerous and we need you to stay away and do as little travel as possible within the community,” Minot Mayor said.

At least 2,500 homes had been flooded by Friday afternoon, and the number could grow to 5,000 homes by late Friday, the mayor added.

“Even though we are still frantically fighting the flood and trying to keep the water away still as much as possible, we are very rapidly going to be into a period where we are dealing with the human impacts of this,” North Dakota Governor said, as shelters and temporary housing began running out of space.

About a third of the homes in the small town of Burlington (Pop: 1,075) are expected to be lost.


Hydrograph for Souris River at Minot-Broadway Bridge. Source: NWS/AHPS

Flood Categories and Historical Crests

More hydrographs: Souris and Des Lacs Flood Briefing Page


HPC 5-Day Precipitation Forecast Map.

Canadian reservoirs over capacity

“Heavy rains across the Souris River Basin left Canadian reservoirs over capacity. Water then rushing down from Canada has forced U.S. officials to make record-large releases from the Lake Darling Dam above Minot and other communities,” a report said.

The reservoirs won’t be able to cope with the additional rain forecast for the region and ecord releases would be needed causing widespread floodings in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri through mid-August.

US Weather Threats Assessment Map


Map of potential hazards related to climate, weather and hydrological events in the U.S.  Source: NWS/CPC. Click image to enlarge.

US Weather Map 24-25 June


Click image to enlarge.

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2011 Disasters

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Minot Flood Warning

Posted by feww on June 24, 2011

Souris River Flooding

Water is moving twice as fast as past floods

At least 10,000 residents have already evacuated from at-risk parts of Minot, North Dakota, according to  reports.


Hydrograph for Souris River at Minot-Broadway Bridge
. Source: NWS/AHPS

Flood Categories and Historical Crests

Water is moving about twice as fast through the system as past flood  event. For example, in 1969 it took about 5 days for the water to route from Estevan to Sherwood but this year it is taking about 2.5 days.  Aerial reconnaissance indicates that from Estevan to Minot the valley is full of water from bluff to bluff enabling the flood wave to move more quickly as it bypasses the normal channel and the normal channel and off channel obstacles.  This flood is over twice as large in terms of peak flow than the previous records all along the Souris River, and this creates uncertainty with eventual peak values. (Source: NWS)

Missouri basin reservoirs from eastern Montana t0 the Dakotas are approaching their capacity. “Reservoir water release rates are expected to stay at high release levels (150,000 cfs) into August. These extremely high flows, combined with normal rainfall, will result in near-record flooding along portions of the Missouri River.” NWS said.


Map of the Missouri River. The Missouri River begins in southern Montana in the Rocky Mountains, first flowing north then generally southeast across the heart of the United States, ending at the Mississippi River, just to the north of St. Louis, Missouri. Some 4,023 km (2,500 miles) long, it is the longest river in the United States. Source: NWS CRH

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FLOODING AT TWO NEBRASKA NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS

Posted by feww on June 23, 2011

Floodwaters rising at Cooper and Fort Calhoun nuclear power plants, Nebraska

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said in a statement that is was closely watching conditions along the Missouri River where floodwaters are rising at two Nebraska nuclear power plants, the Cooper Nuclear Station and the Fort Calhoun NPP.

The lowest of four levels of emergency notification remain in effects at both plants, NRC said.

“We are closely following events at both plants,” NRC Region IV Administrator Elmo Collins said. “Both plants have activated their flood response plans and taken appropriate steps to protect vital structures, systems and components from rising floodwaters and maintain their plants in a safe condition.”

Cooper NPP, located in Brownville, Nebraska, is currently about 70 cm (two and a half feet) above current river levels, and is operating at full power. However, it remains under the ‘Unusual Event’ declared on June 19, NRC said.

Fort Calhoun, which is about 30 km (19 miles) north of Omaha, was shut down for refueling on April 7 and has not since been restarted. It remains under the Unusual Event declared on June 6.

“The NRC has augmented its inspection staff at Fort Calhoun where there is now two feet of water in many areas onsite,” the report said.

Cooper Nuclear Power Plant on the edge of the Missouri River surrounded by floodwaters on June 15, 2011. Photo: Corps of Engineers

An aerial view of Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant taken on June 16, 2011 showing the extent of flooding at the station. Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineer

Flooding along the Missouri River to continue until mid-August

Water release from the reservoirs and dams along the Missouri River is expected to continue until at least mid-August, resulting “in near-record flooding along portions of the Missouri River.”

Earlier the NWS released the following statement:

“The upper Missouri River Basin (Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota and Nebraska) has received 100 to 800 percent of normal precipitation during the past several weeks. Snow pack runoff entering the upper portion of the river system is more than twice the normal amount.

“These conditions have resulted in Missouri basin reservoirs across eastern Montana and the Dakotas nearing their maximum levels. Reservoir water release rates are expected to stay at high release levels (150,000 cfs) into August. These extremely high flows, combined with normal rainfall, will result in near-record flooding along portions of the Missouri River.”


The graphic above shows where recent river gauge forecasts are available, and are colored according to their values.  They are the most recent guidance forecasts we have issued as of the date/time stamp on the bottom of the graphic.  Orange, magenta, and red dots represent river points that are forecast to be in flood.  Yellow dots represent those which are under flood stage, but are high enough to merit some internal action (e.g., perhaps a crest forecast is issued, or a forecast is issued more frequently).  Green dots represent stages that are below the action stage and are not high enough to merit much hydrologic concern.  Gray dots mean that the status couldn’t be determined (perhaps because no forecasts for these points have been recently issued).
Source: NWS Missouri Basin/ pleasant Hill

France

Meantime, France’s EDF has denied reports/rumors of radioactive leaks at at least two French nuclear plants since early April this year.

Probability of a Nuclear Disaster by Country

The following probability figures are calculated by FIRE-EARTH on April 8, 2011

  • Japan (880)³
  • United States (865)
  • Taiwan (850)
  • Belgium, China, France, Finland, India,  South Korea, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Russia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Armenia, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania,  Hungary, Bulgaria, Spain,  Pakistan, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico,  South Africa, Canada (810)
  • Germany, Sweden, Netherlands (800)
  • Switzerland  (750)

Notes:

  1. The list represents a snapshot of events at the time of calculating the probabilities. Any forecast posted  here is subject to numerous variable factors.
  2. Figures in the bracket represent the probability of an incident occurring out of 1,000; the forecast duration is valid for the next 50  months.
  3. Probability includes a significant worsening of Fukushima nuclear disaster, and future quakes forecast for Japan.
  4. A nuclear incident is defined as a level 5 (Accident With Wider Consequences), or worse, on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES). See below.
  5. Safety issues considered in compiling these lists include the age, number of units and capacity of nuclear reactors in each country/state, previous incidents, probability of damage from human-enhanced natural disasters, e.g., earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic activity, hurricanes, tornadoes, storms, wildfires, flooding… ]
  6. The  Blog’s knowledge concerning the extent to which the factors described in (3) might worsen during the forecast period greatly influences the forecast.

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