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Some residents forced to flee

ADA, Minn.

ADA, Minn. -- A boat carrying Sarah Smart and her two small children -- buffeted by waves and wind -- making its way to safety was one of the most dramatic images to emerge from the Ada-area flood fight Monday.

The good thing was the water wasn't very deep.

Smart's father, Greg Balzum, and another man pulled and pushed the boat from her home on the southwest edge of town to dry land about 100 yards away.

Smart said the voyage didn't frighten her, but her 1½-year-old daughter, Madison, wasn't too thrilled.

Two-week-old daughter, Meredith, bundled in a car seat, weathered the crossing without incident.


Smart said the household, which included her parents, two sisters and a young nephew, was being evacuated after the home was surrounded by water that broke through a railroad bed acting as a dike.

Several other area homes were cut off as well as water began to lick at town streets.

"I've lived here 47 years, and I have never seen it this high in this area," said Allen Thronson, who watched as workers cut open part of a city dike.

The move was made to allow water to escape the area flooded by the railbed breach.

Nearby, city crews checked the city's main lift station: a sandbagged island some distance offshore on the city's southside.

Joe Kappes, Ada's public works director, said the lift station was still functioning late Monday afternoon and keeping sewage out of most town basements.

However, he said, Ada's storm sewer system was under heavy stress and water was bubbling onto city streets. Crews had the situation under control as of late Monday afternoon, Kappes said.

Readers can reach Moorhead Bureau Chief Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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