I-29 closing causes traffic mess in flooded rural areasby Dan Gunderson, Minnesota Public Radio
Fargo, N.D. — Interstate 29 remains closed north of Fargo as several inches of water from the flooding Sheyenne and Red Rivers flow over the road.
More than 30 miles of I-29 are shut down from north of Fargo to Hillsboro, N.D.
North Dakota Highway Patrol Captain Eldon Mehrer said snowplows are removing debris from the road, but the interstate will likely remain closed for at least another day.
View a photo gallery shot from the sky above the Red River Valley.
"We're already seeing some areas where there's been some erosion on shoulders," Mehrer said. "So we want to make sure that roadway is safe for vehicles once they are allowed back on there."
Officials say the interstate detour is causing traffic problems in some small towns. Police say they ticketed one driver yesterday going 67 mph in a 25 mph zone.
Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney is reminding residents and sightseers to stay off closed roads.
"The barricades are there because the road is completely washed out or it's full of water and we don't know what's under the water," Laney said. "You can think you are driving through a foot of water and you can drop into a six foot sinkhole."
The sheriff said his department is still responding to problems with flooding in rural areas, but conditions are improving Tuesday.
Two people died last week while boating on a flooded river in southeastern North Dakota. Monday night, three teenagers were rescued from the Otter Tail river near Breckenridge after they fell out of a boat.
Laney said some residents are viewing the high water as a challenge.
"One of my deputies just yesterday stopped two 18-year-old boys wearing shorts and cutoff t-shirts climbing into a kayak with no life preservers," he said. "This isn't the X-games, this is dangerous stuff."
People boating on the Red River face federal criminal penalties. The Coast Guard has declared the river off limits to recreational boaters until the floodwaters recede.