KATHRYN, N.D. — A convoy of trucks, excavators, bulldozers and backhoes moved in to fortify a seeping dam Thursday in eastern North Dakota as engineers and National Guard troops worked to save a tiny town that would flood if the dam fails.
Water was flowing like a miniature waterfall around a corner of the earthen Clausen Springs Dam, which protects the town of Kathryn, downhill and about six miles east. The water was eating through walls of the grass-lined spillway built to handle the extra water volume along a tributary of the flooding Sheyenne River.
If the dam fails, state Water Commission engineer Bruce Engelhardt said, "you'd have a large pulse of water going downstream."
Kathryn's 55 residents evacuated on Wednesday.