Thursday, April 30, 2009


A group of men went to the Golf Course late this afternoon. They used hoses and squeegys to clean the mud off the green on hole #7. They took a boat up the fairway.

The American Legion Auxiliary Women cleaned out the kitchen in the Community Center yesterday. They were there all day, every day while the Command Center was open organizing the donations and feeding everyone who came through the door. MANY MANY THANKS to them!!

The river is at 50.1 ft.

Thanks to Randy B for today's pictures.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Goodbye Rangers

The river is at 50.52 ft and falling.......slowly. It's trying to rain here but not enough to measure.

The two Polaris Rangers that were loaned to the city by AgriSports of Lancaster, MN were returned today. They were greatly appreciated by the dike walkers, gopher patrol and everyone on the Flood Committee. THANK YOU!

The National Guard members that were here to help walk dikes left yesterday afternoon. We're thankful for their help.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Roosters

I sat in the Command Center the first night they walked the dikes. As one pair of walkers crossed into So Pembina they called back on the radio "Mother Hen, Mother Hen, the roosters have left the nest." Well, the roosters are all home safe and won't have to leave the nest again until the next time the Red River roars.

Dave and Terri Blomquist walked the dike at 4:00 today and when they came back the Command Center closed. The river is at 50.77 ft. The water is down far enough on the earthen dike that regular patrols are not needed. It's still up on the cement flood wall so the closure to So Pembina in still in place. We're beginning to see the cement on the middle of the Pembina River bridge so we hope it won't be too long before the wall can come down and be put back into storage. There is still water over Hwy #55 to Neche.

I'll continue to post updates and pictures until the last of the flood work is done. I've enjoyed doing this blog and knowing that it connects people across the country to Pembina. Maybe we can use something like this for the next Pembina reunion.

PS No gophers caught today :(

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Baseball & Golf

Caught two more gophers today! River is at 51.32 ft.

It's trying to rain but only a sprinkle so far.

Looks like awhile before they'll be playing ball in So Pembina.

We can see the greens on #6 and #2 here. There are four other greens also out of the water.

Today Firemen continued pumping water out of So Pembina.

A group went over and removed the tarps from the greens that are free of water and cleaned the mud from them.

George C walks over to get a closer look.

Thanks to Jon Kalka for today's pictures.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I sat in the Command Center this morning from 4 - 8 a.m. Pretty quiet place to be. The river was at 51.59 ft. when I left and the gopher traps came up empty again.

Firemen are going into So Pembina in 3 hour shifts to pump water today, but first they had breakfast at the Fire Hall and got organized. They used the city tractor to lift a floating pump to the top of the dike then lowered it to the water on the other side. They carry 5 gal. gasoline cans across in a boat.

Lowering the pump.

Bringing the gas cans.

Walking across the Pembina River bridge.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Gene and Gladys take a break after serving dinner at the "High Water Cafe".

The river is at 51.65 ft. No rain today. The water is off Highway 18 from Neche south but it's still over the road from Neche north to the border. Two more gophers left the dike today.

Tomorrow morning men from the Fire Department will be going into So Pembina to pump out water. They're are several empty spots on the sign up sheets to sit in the Command Center and to walk the dikes. If you live in Pembina, please stop by and check out the lists.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Below 52

No pictures tonight. It's been another quiet day. The big new is,


This means we can cut back to one team of dike patrol walkers. They'll walk between the Red River bridge and Gastrak.

The gophers are still outwitting the hunters. This could be a long battle.

We've seen about a dozen drops of rain so far today. It's in the forecast for tonight but we're hoping the weatherman is wrong.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

So Pembina

Today the river is at 52.14 ft.

We're still in need of people to sit at the Command Center and to walk the dikes.

These trunks were carrying sandbags to Neche last week-end.

This was taken from the deck of the club house looking south over #9

From the deck looking north over #1. Volunteers have started to pump out the water from inside the dike.

There is a lot of water in the north bound lane of I29 between Pembina and the border.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sandbag Central

A quiet day = A good day!

Today was quiet. The river is at 52.22 ft. The "gopher patrol" caught one gopher this morning. The high school students filled 65 pallets of sand bags this afternoon in the school parking lot. These kids are experts! The sun was shining and no rain. We could use a lot more days like this.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Around 7:00 tonight a helicopter landed in Pembina bringing Governor Hoven, the commander of the North Dakota National Guard, a representative of the Army Corps of Engineers and a FEMA representative to town. They met with community members gathered at the Command Center to share words of encouragement, information about help and to answer questions from the audience.

An attentive audience.

Governor Hoven, Jill Pedersen (Pembina Co. Emergency Management) and Pat Misson talk after the presentation.

The pest control company was in town again today and set some traps for the pesty gophers. Anyone walking the dikes is reminded to stay away from the sandbags marked with white flags.

Several loads of sandbags have been sent to Neche to help with their flood efforts. The water began coming over Hwy 18 on the west side of Neche tonight. Students will be filling more bags tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Here and There

Saturday afternoon some members of the flood committee marked cracks on the dike. Today a specialist from the Corps of Engineers examined the areas and determined they are just top-soil issues and pose no threat to the integrity of the dike. The dike patrols are doing a good job of reporting new gopher holes and other changes they notice.

News from the surrounding areas....Highway 75 between Chale's and Hallock has been reopened. We took a drive through St Vincent a couple days ago. Things looked dry and peaceful there. The water at Walhalla rose over a foot last night. They have had volunteers out sandbagging in some of the lower areas today. Work continues in Neche to raise their dikes before the water comes over Hwy 18 on the west side of town.

Not exactly flood news but Marge Baker stopped in at the Command Center yesterday to say hello and let us know she was back home after being gone for the winter. Marge will be 100 years old next month.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Quiet Saturday

A quiet Saturday afternoon at the Command Center.

We woke up to see a little snow coming down this morning. It didn't last, but it's cold here today (about 35 degrees). The river is at 52.52 ft. This afternoon some volunteers went out to help a rural residence with their dike.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Someone sent me this picture of the Canadian border road. To the left is Canada to the right North Dakota.

Pembina sent a bunch of their filled sand bags to Neche today to help them out. The high school students filled 70 more pallets of bags in a couple hours this afternoon.

Some local folks visiting and grabbing a bite to eat at the Command Center.

Tonight the TV news reported the Red River in Pembina has crested at 52.75 ft. I hope they're right. The reading was 52.6 late this afternoon. It is suppose to stay high for at least another week.

The water is very close to crossing Hwy 18 at Neche. Today all the students K-12 from Pembina and Bathgate went to school in Pembina and the K-12 students from Neche stayed in Neche. Teachers stayed in their home towns and taught the students there. It was a little chaotic for the first hour or so but we'll get along fine until the water goes down again.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


We lucked out with no rain today. We'll keep our fingers crossed for tonight. The river was at 52.69 ft at 4:00 p.m.

This row of sandbags placed by Kittson Co along the road between St Vincent and Chale's keeps the debris from washing onto the road.

Taken from Chale's corner looking toward St Vincent. The new bridge here has really done it's job keeping this road open.

They took down the ladder today. No one is allowed to go into So Pembina until the river level drops.

The dike patrol is still marking fresh gopher holes and a team goes around and covers them with a sandbag. The Pest Control company is coming back to check things out on Monday.

Some of the farms in the area are having trouble with wind erosion on their dikes.

Neche has been working hard today trying to hold back the water from crossing Hwy 18 at the entrances to town.

The National Guard is still here to help walk the dikes. Volunteerism has been GREAT. Lots of people willing to sit at the Command Center, walk dikes, work in the kitchen, and bring meals and goodies. I live in Pembina because I choose to, and it's the people that make this a great place to live.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Remembering Art

Pat, Ken and an old friend went out to read the river.

The weather was nice today. The river was at 52.68 at noon.

Pembina looking from the west.

Today the high school students went back to Neche to fill more sand bags. Highway 18 into Neche is still open but the water is rising fast.

Kittson Co put a row of sand bags along the low spot in the road from St Vincent to Hwy 75. The road is still open. Hwy 55 is closed from Neche to Walhalla.

This is the wall the men built yesterday in So Pembina.

The people in Pembina love to read your comments. Keep 'em coming!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


The river is at 52.58 ft. tonight. The sun was shining today and a lot of work was accomplished. The high school students went to Neche this afternoon to fill sandbags. The water has risen rapidly there. Highway 18 into Neche is still open. Ken and I went to Hallock this afternoon and Highway 75 is closed between Chales's station and Humboldt. We were able to detour on the paved Kittson Co #6 to get to Humboldt without driving in water.

A group of about 50 men went to So Pembina late this afternoon to raise the dike by adding sandbags to the top along the northeast end. The CBP transported some of the volunteers in on their Blackhawk helicoptor while other men were brought across by boat. Six members of the Walhalla Fire Dept. came over and volunteered their help. My thanks to Al Meagher for taking these pictures.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Rainy Monday

Dennis Warner home and Darrell Warner home.

Pembina Airport

This morning the rain and winds made the dike in So Pembina dangerous to walk so patrols were suspended for the day. Tomorrow morning the situation will be reassessed. If conditions improve some volunteers will cross to So Pembina and add more sandbags to the low spots on the dike. Anyone wanting to volunteer should be at the Command Center by 4:00 p.m.

The community meeting this evening was well attended. The committee gave the public an update on the flood work and answered questions. The National Weather Service has warned that the high water will be with us for an extended period of time. The committee thanked all the volunteers who have been helping walk dikes, man the phone, and work in the kitchen and asked everyone to keep on pitching in until the waters go down again. In the above picture people are checking out the volunteer sign up sheets after the meeting. If anyone has questions not answered at the meeting please call the Command Center at 825-6326 or call the City Office.

The water has coming up rapidly at Walhalla and Neche in the last day or so. I think I mentioned before that Highway 55 between Pembina and Neche is closed. There is also water running across the road just north of Humboldt.

One last tidbit. The fire siren (up and down tones) will be used for fires and to call for sandbaggers. The emergency tone (high extended tone) would indicate a breech in the dike and the need to evacuate. We pray we never hear that one!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday

Joe and Brent add fuel to the pump in So Pembina.

The river was at 52.34 ft at 4:00 p.m. It's misting a little outside but no rain yet.

The flood committee has been meeting daily to monitor conditions and flood work.

This morning the dike in So Pembina began to shift a little. Several volunteers were pulled across in the boat to lay poly and shore up the low spot with sand bags. The spot was near the fish cleaning station and this has happened before in past floods. Because of the current river height walking the dike in So Pembina will only be done during daylight hours.

Pocket gophers have been waking up and starting to dig burrows in the earthen dike near the Kneeshaw farm. Efforts are being made to get rid of the gophers and the situation is being closely monitored. Residents are asked to stay off the dike and keep their children off of the dike.

The "High Water Cafe" served Easter dinner to a large group of National Gaurdsmen and volunteers at noon today. Reports came back that the food was great!

Since the water is flowing across Hwy 55 the North Border School buses will be re-routed through Bathgate. Students traveling on the shuttle bus should be at the school about 10 minutes earlier than usual.

Tomorrow night is there will be a second public meeting at the Community Center at 7:00 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

More Pictures from Jamie

Norman and Dan catch a ride to start dike patrol.

Al pulls Jamie across in the boat to patrol So Pembina

Looking back across the river at the wall protecting Pembina.

The #9 green at the golf course.

Thanks Jamie!

Sunny Saturday

Ken and Pat back from tending the pumps in So Pembina.

The river was at 52.27 ft this morning. Because the weather has finally warmed up some they were able to move some sandbags outside without fear of freezing. A few palettes have been left at different points around town....not because they're needed, it's just better to be prepared. This picture was taken at the Kneeshaw Circle trailer park.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I Walked

The water was at 52.17 ft. tonight. The National Weather Service still predicts we'll get to around 52.5 ft and will stay there for a long time.

I walked the north half of the main dike this afternoon with my daughter. She's showing off the ResQ Disc the dike walkers carry. These discs are thrown like a Frisbee and a rope unwinds from them that can support 500 lbs.

The high school students helped build this sandbag dike at the Helen Moris home. It's keeping the water out so far.

Ohmann's Island just east of the red river bridge.

More Pics

Another picture taken from Hwy 55 coming in from the west.

The dike patrol coming back from a walk. The 4 people on patrol in main Pembina take the Green Ranger to Gastrak then split into two groups. One walks the north half and the other the south. When they meet at the River bridge closure they take the Red Ranger back to the Command Center. (Hope I got that right Pat ;)