Flooding along the Souris River

Flooding along the Souris River
Flooding along the Souris River

The Souris River originates in Saskatchewan, loops southward into North Dakota, and flows back into Canada, in Manitoba. There, it feeds the Assiniboine River. In late June 2011, the Souris flooded near communities in Canada and the United States.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite captured these images on June 18, 2011 (top), and June 15, 2010 (bottom). Both images use a combination of visible and infrared light to increase contrast between water and land. Water varies in color from electric blue to navy. Vegetation is green. Bare ground is earth-toned. Clouds are pale blue-green.

Compared to 2010, the Souris River not only remains visible throughout its southward loop, but also appears swollen near the U.S. towns of Bantry and Towner, and the Canadian town of Weyburn.

On June 20, 2011, the Advanced Hydrological Prediction Service (AHPS) of the U.S. National Weather Service reported major flooding of the Souris River near Foxholm, Towner, Bantry, and Westhope. The AHPS also reported continued major flooding of the Missouri River near Williston.

Flood woes were not confined to the United States. In a special section on the Saskatchewan flood of 2011, CBC News mapped areas of concern throughout the southeastern part of the province. Meanwhile, Leader-Post reported that torrential rain on June 17 pushed the Souris over its banks near Weyburn, flooding homes, closing roads, and backing up sewers.

NASA images courtesy MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Michon Scott.

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