Take a boat ride over the placid surface of a giant lake that has appeared over North Dakota near the flooding Missouri River.
Please, join our tour guide Bismarckman as he explores by boat the small community of Hoge Island, about 10 miles north of Bismarck, N.D. Gliding peacefully over what used to be front lawns and fences, the boatsmen oversee a town that is completely empty save for a few holdouts trying to defend their property from seasonal floodwaters. Unfortunately, one of those stalwart Dakotans recently lost the battle after a "'scour hole' developed between two segments of riprap" on the Missouri and collapsed the house. (Check the Weather Channel for the sad video.)
The floodlake is not a sedentary thing; under its surface strong currents move. The water is fast and furious and is already setting records, according to the National Weather Service. Says the local NWS office:
WATER IS MOVING ABOUT TWICE AS FAST THROUGH THE SYSTEM AS PAST FLOOD EVENT. FOR EXAMPLE...IN 1969 IT TOOK ABOUT 5 DAYS FOR THE WATER TO ROUTE FROM ESTEVAN TO SHERWOOD... BUT THIS YEAR IT IS TAKING ABOUT 2.5 DAYS. AERIAL RECONNAISSANCE INDICATES THAT FROM ESTEVAN TO MINOT THE VALLEY IS FULL OF WATER FROM BLUFF TO BLUFF ENABLING THE FLOOD WAVE TO MOVE MORE QUICKLY AS IT BYPASSES THE NORMAL CHANNEL....
THIS FLOOD IS OVER TWICE AS LARGE IN TERMS OF PEAK FLOW THAN THE PREVIOUS RECORDS ALL ALONG THE SOURIS RIVER... AND THIS CREATES UNCERTAINTY WITH EVENTUAL PEAK VALUES.