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Mary Jo Hotzler, Published April 17 2010

Flood retrospective 2009: April 17

April 17– Just when things seemed to be calming down in Valley City, a sewer failure – caused by pressure from the still-flooded Sheyenne – forced more evacuations.

The city now had to run its sewage into the river, which meant the sewer system was off limits. People who remained would have to make use of the more than 200 portable toilets the city was rushing in.

It was a huge blow to people’s psyches. Just a few days earlier there was hope of life getting back to normal.

But if there’s anything we had learned about flooding, it is that it’s unpredictable.

Life had turned into a waiting game for people in communities like Kindred and Davenport.

The Sheyenne already was breaking out of its banks south of Kindred, where water forced its way over State Highway 46 with such force that a culvert collapsed and forced the state Department of Transportation to close a major section of it.

At the same time, part of the James River bank was in need of shoring up after a tree fell in the water.

Things were more stable now, but uncertainty still loomed.