North Dakota residents told to evacuate ahead of expected flooding

(CNN) — Residents in Minot, North Dakota, have until Wednesday evening to leave their homes after authorities ordered the evacuation of some 12,000 people from the area because of expected record flooding.

Minot, located in the north-central part of the state, is the fourth-largest city in North Dakota.

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The swollen Souris River flows straight through the city and is expected to overwhelm area levees, said Cecily Fong, spokeswoman for the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services.

“It’s really historic proportions of water,” Fong said late Tuesday night.

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  1. North Dakota river to surpass record levels:

    Minot, North Dakota (CNN) — The summer flooding in Minot, North Dakota, will enter record territory Friday morning as the Souris River surges toward a peak, days ahead of original forecasts by the National Weather Service.

    The river, which stood 1,556 feet above sea level early Friday, is forecast to top the 1881 record of 1,558 feet by mid-morning and peak at 1564.5 feet late Saturday or early Sunday. That would put the Souris more than six feet higher than the old record.

    The waters were rushing into the area faster and in greater amounts than expected, overflowing a lake near the city, officials said, exacerbating the region’s flood concerns.

    But Minot Mayor Curt Zimbelman said Thursday that no new evacuations had been ordered, even though “the flows coming into Lake Darling are reaching the lake quicker and at a greater volume than predicted.”

    “Due to this, Lake Darling has increased its outflow,” the mayor added — increasing flooding in the flood-plain, though not to a point that it yet changes the “inundation zone.”

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