Saturday, June 5, 2010

Mother Nature

Well, the Red River didn't get us, but Mother Nature did. Last Saturday, May 29, Pembina got 6.8 inches of rain in a couple hours. I heard them report on the news that 75% of the homes in town have water in their basements. We had 3 inches of water in ours. This is the first time in 20 years that we've had water in our house.

As you drive around town you can see piles of soaked carpet, water logged belongings and furniture lining the streets. Some had sewer back-up, some just seepage.

Because the river level is so high the flood gates in town were closed (the Red River did contribute a little) so the coulee behind our house (along Chippewa St) filled with water. These "during and after" pictures were taken by Jamie Meagher - Thanks Jamie - the house on the "lakefront" belongs to Cam and Kris Wilwand.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Passing Through

Today some of the dirt was removed from the dike closures in South Pembina to allow local traffic to pass through. The road closed signs are still up and the road will remain closed (except to local traffic) until the river level drops to 47 ft.

It's time for the clean-up to begin. The unused sandbags will be moved to storage and kept for future use.

Friday, April 2, 2010


It appears that the river may have crested at 49.5 ft. It went down a few hundredths today even though it rained and was windy. Things are looking good!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Slowing Down

There were 18 people at the flood committee meeting today. Things are really slowing down. The river is at about 49.5 ft and holding.

There's some rain in the forecast for the next couple days but it doesn't sound like it will be too much.

The new pump is doing a good job in So Pembina. The water is only in the ditch behind the outfield fence now.

The sun was shining this afternoon lots of people were out walking, riding bikes and enjoying spring!

Not much else to write.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Beautiful Sunday

It was a beautiful day today. The sun was shining the temperature was up around 50. The river was at 48.49 ft. when I got up this morning.

Yesterday, the city bought a new 6 in. pump. They put it to use today pumping out water from inside the dike around the baseball field in So Pembina. It's working great!

Below are a few pictures I took at the golf course. The greens and tee boxes are dry (except #4) but the fairways have some water on them.

The carts were moved to high ground on the dike.

Looking over the pond by the #9 green south towards Dennis Warner's.

Looking down the #1 fairway.

From the #6 green you can see the #4 green in the distance.

From the #6 green looking at #6,7 and 9 fairways.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


This afternoon some members of the US Coast Guard were in town to train members of the Pembina Fire Department to use our airboat for water rescue. After some instruction at the fire hall they put the four units into the water north of town where the Red has left it's banks at Airborne Alley (near Ed Haugen's).

Pembina Fire and Rescue Unit

Great Response

Over twenty people showed up this morning to sandbag the wings. 
The job was completed in less than half an hour.
If you are a past resident of Pembina you might recognize some of the family names present today: 
Brintnell, Brown, Burton, Defoe, Dorion, Feldman, Fritz, Hall, Hillukka, Huttunen, Kalka, Kern, Margerum, Misson, Monette, Norby, Plante, Schafer......sorry if I've forgotten anyone.

Friday, March 26, 2010


The Red River was a 47.37 ft at 4:00 this afternoon.

The flood committee met today with 22 people present. The consensus is to hold off on putting in the main street closure until the water gets higher. Tomorrow volunteers will sandbag the "wings" (between the west end of the bridge and the flood wall) beginning at 10:00 a.m. All help is appreciated!

The Corps of Engineers walked parts of the dike today and found it to be in good condition. There are some cracks where dirt has settled. These do not threaten the integrity of the dike but will be filled in possibly this summer.

The flood committee will meet again next Monday at 4:30.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Filling Sandbags

The students and staff from North Border High School Pembina filled 3000+ sandbags this afternoon. The weather was a little cool but it didn't stop these kids! When school was out, half of the bags were moved to storage in a heated building.

Everythings ready and waiting.

An organized crew!

Deanna and Lisa came to run the fork-lifts.

90 pallets of sandbags ready to go.

Loading them on the trailer to move indoors.

Kyle puts them inside.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

March 24

There were snow flakes in the air today. No! I was not imagining things! It was gloomy, cold and windy.

*Twenty-two people attended the flood committee meeting this afternoon.
*It was reported that the bridge at Joliette closed today.
*Tomorrow the high school students will fill sandbags in the afternoon at the school parking lot.
*The dike in South Pembina has been closed off at both ends.
*Everyone is reminded to stay off the dikes. The Corps of Engineers will be here to inspect it on Friday.

We'll be looking for some help this week-end. The flood committee meets again at 4:30 on Friday. At the meeting they will decide if the flood gate on main street will be put in after the meeting Friday, or on Saturday morning. If you drive by, feel free to stop and volunteer your help.

Entering So Pembina from the south on Old Hwy 81.

Looking toward Pembina from the east side of the bridge.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

More Pictures

Ralph Twamley and crew closing off the dike at the south end of So Pembina.
Some equipment staged on the dike near the Golf Course clubhouse.
Sand piled near the city shop.
Stacks of pallets on the school parking lot waiting for sandbags.

A Few Pictures

I drove around town today and took a few pictures. This first one is of sandbags staged on the corner near the bridge ready for the wall to be set up.

This picture was taken from the Pembina River bridge looking north.

Taken from the top of the dike in South Pembina looking north. You can just make out the Red River bridge in the distance.

Under this water is the culvert volunteers closed and sandbagged last week.

Digging dirt from the "borrow pit" in So. Pembina to close off the road at the south end.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Meeting #2

The flood committee met this afternoon. It appears that the Red River has crested in Grand Forks. The bridge into Minnesota at Drayton closed today. The latest flood prediction for the Red at Pembina and St Vincent is 51-52 ft between Mar 30 and April 1.

The current river level was 43.15 ft at 4:00 p.m. today.

Tomorrow they will begin putting in the dirt closures in So Pembina.

Things could be a little busier at the end of this week. High School students may be asked to fill sandbags on Thursday or Friday. Depending on the river level, we might start to assemble the flood wall at the end of main street. The flood committee will meet again on Wednesday to finalize the plans.

Just to mention a few more names, Pat Misson is in charge of the dike patrols. They will begin around 49 ft. Ken Norby is in charge of pumps and sandbags, and Bev Burke, Deanna Hager and Tina Dorion are in charge of communications.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Still Rising

Cloudy and windy outside today.

The Red came up almost five feet in the last 24 hours. It was at 33.9 ft at 3:00 p.m.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Closing culverts

This afternoon a group of 15 men and women closed the two culverts in So. Pembina.

The river has risen about 4 feet since yesterday. We're at about 29 ft. on our way to ???  (The prediction is 51 - 53 ft.)

We drove to Hallock tonight and didn't see much water along the way. The fields are mostly bare.

The flood committee will meet again next Monday.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Beginning

It almost looks like a road, but it's a strip of ice in the middle of the Pembina River looking south from the Pembina River bridge.

The flood committee had it's organizational meeting today with 19 people present. Nancy Thompson and Lisa Plante are the flood coordinators. Ron Monette, Joe Defoe and Kyle Dorion are the flood chairmen.

The National Weather Service projects a crest in Pembina between March 31 and April 2. We're hoping the level will be lower than last year.

Tomorrow (Wed) volunteers will close and sandbag the two culverts in So. Pembina. Anyone who wants to help should show up in So. Pembina about 4:30.