As the City of Grand Forks has not seen the second surge of flooding that officials were expecting, damage assessments have begun for properties in the area.
Due to cooler temperatures and less precipitation than what was expected, the flooding risk has decreased significantly, however officials say they aren’t completely out of the woods yet as there is still melting snowpack.
Chris Marsh, director of the Emergency Operations Centre in Grand Forks, said during a national conference call this afternoon that they have seen a decrease in water levels on the Kettle, West Kettle, and Granby rivers, which were the rivers that caused the community issues last week.
The risk is definitely abated for now, says Marsh, however if they receive heavy rain in combination with high temperatures it could mean trouble, but nothing is the forecast is calling for that kind of weather.
About 3,000 people are still on evacuation order, but officials are working to get people and businesses back to their properties as soon as possible.
“We’ve really been waiting for a peak or a surge of water today and yesterday. That hasn’t happened,” said Marsh. He adds that they have accelerated their rapid damage assessment process.
Marsh says they have 20 teams on the ground right now primarily looking at home that have little or no damage.
“We really want to try and get people back in their homes as quick as we can and we’ve had to leave the evacuation orders on for a little over a week now because we were expecting a peak of the river systems equivalent to what we saw last Thursday and Friday, which was a catastrophic event for us.”
Assessments will continue this afternoon and tomorrow with the hope of being able to start rescinding evacuation orders. Those properties will remain on evacuation alert, however, as some risk of flooding remains.
Officials also said that they are requesting that people from other community want to volunteer do what they can from their own communities as they are trying to limit stress on local resources.
As for the people of Grand Forks, the shock has begun to wear off, replaced by the stress of the massive amount of recovery both psychologically and financially there is to address.