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Forum staff reports, Published April 22 2011

Overland flooding may force closure of state Highway 46 near Kindred

KINDRED, N.D. – Water is coming over portions of North Dakota Highway 46 west of town today, and the road might need to be closed, said Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney.

Authorities are monitoring the road closely, and it could be shut down by the Sheyenne River breakouts already streaming over the highway, Laney said.

“For now, it’s still open,” he said. “If it gets dangerous, we’re definitely going to shut it down.”

Speeds on Highway 46 are already lowered to 15 mph a mile west of Kindred because of water on the road, according to online road condition maps from the state Department of Transportation.

Officials have been expecting flooding along the Sheyenne near Kindred and neighboring Davenport – cities southwest of Fargo by about 25 miles – to reach 2009’s record levels as the new releases from Baldhill Dam north of Valley City progressed downstream.

Portions of Cass County Highway 16, Davenport’s main access road, have been closed already, Laney said. He said deputies will patrol barricades there at night because it is too dangerous to risk a driver ignoring the barriers.

“There are a lot of county and township roads that are going to go under,” Laney said.

Check back later in the day for updates on this story.