The Beacon News

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March 19, 2009

Chance of Beulah flood 60 percent, officials say

If your home flooded in ’97 you should be prepared to have water issues again this year.

"In a moderate melt the homes that had trouble in ’97 are going to experience problems again," Mercer County Emergency Manager Richard Sorenson said.

Sorensen gave the warning at an area-wide flood preparedness meeting Friday evening. Beulah Mayor Darrell Bjerke, Beulah City Councilman Steve Perry, Hazen Mayor Delmar Schramm, Hazen City Commissioner Mike Peterson, Hazen City Planner Steve Frovarb and Ed Schaper (with the Mercer County Highway Department) attended the meeting. The group discussed the preparations the cities and the county are taking to prepare for the coming season.

"We’re prepared to protect the citizens as well as we can from the city’s perspective," Bjerke said. "The homeowners are going to have to take steps to protect their own homes."

"The number one thing that residents can do is to take steps to prevent sewer back up," Sorenson said. "(In ’97) most didn’t report overland flooding, but basement flooding from sewer and septic backup.

In long-term planning, the best (protection) is check valves (in basement drains), for the short term it’s going to be plugs and sandbags. Plugs to block the pipe and sandbags for weight to hold it in place. They need to protect all the waste water outlets (in the basement) against back up."

The two cities as well as the county have stockpiled sandbags and sand to be available to the public. The county has sandbags available for 20 cents each at the county shop southeast of Beulah and at the county shop in Golden Valley. They also have indoor sand available at no charge. Residents are responsible for filling their own bags.

The city of Beulah also has sandbags available for 15 cents at the City shop, and residents can fill their own sand at no charge. Beulah limits each person to 50 bags per visit, according to Perry, but residents can come back if they need more bags.

The Weather Network