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Wendy Reuer, Published June 24 2011

ND National Guard Blackhawk helicopters patrol surging Souris River

MINOT, N.D. – Most of this city was quiet Friday morning with the exception of North Dakota National Guard Blackhawk helicopters circling the skies to monitor the rising Souris River.

PHOTO GALLERY: Aerial photos of the Minot flood

Residents awoke to rainy drizzle along with the news the bloated river would crest by evening, likely 8 to 9 feet above levels ever recorded.

After the first round of Blackhawk air patrol for the day, Gov. Jack Dalrymple said floodwaters were devastating the city, rising to rooftops and submerging area parks, businesses and homes.

“It’s very obvious now that the levees have been breached in most places in Minot,” the governor said. “The farther west you go, the deeper the water is. Obviously, the surge is from there. It really is remarkable because we all know it’s going to be several feet higher as well.”

The city of Burlington was inundated with water by Friday morning, Dalrymple said. The cities of Sawyer and Velva are still attempting to sandbag, but the situation is dire.

“The chances of holding the river back now are becoming less and less because the elevation is not expected to be any lower than they’ve been talking about.”

See the photos from Forum Photographer Carrie Snyder taken Friday morning to view the rising waters.