Canada and United States border officials have closed the Gretna border crossing in Manitoba after overland flooding made portions of Highway 30 impassable.

The Canada Border Services Agency said the closure was temporary and drivers should take alternate routes until the water recedes.

About 300 travellers cross the Gretna border on a daily basis, according to CBSA officials. Officials said they expected the border to remain closed through Wednesday.

Gretna received 58 millimetres of rain over the long weekend, forcing water over the banks of the Pembina River.

North Dakota communities cope with flood waters

Communities south of the border are also grappling with flooding after the heavy rains.

Al Voelker is a senior meteorologist with the U.S. National Weather Service.

He said the weekend rain lead to major flooding in Neche, where the river is currently at a major flood stage, and the flood has forced the closure of Highway 18 in North Dakota.

The rainfall filled the reservoir at the Renwick Dam, south of Gretna and Neche, near Cavalier, N.D.

Other rivers in the area are near breach levels, including the Tongue River, and Voelker said the weather service is monitoring water levels closely.

Cavalier, N.D., under mandatory evacuation

A mandatory evacuation order is now in place for Cavalier and a number of care homes and hospitals in the area have already been evacuated.

Brian Erovick, the sheriff of Pembina County, is based in the town.

Unexpected catch


Nathan Kemnitz caught a bull-head fish on his flooded front lawn. Kemnitz lives just west of Cavalier, N.D. (Chris Glover/CBC)

Nathan Kemnitz was not part of the mandatory evacuation order but lives just west of Cavalier, N.D. He has a small sandbag dike surrounding his home, and water has already begun lapping up against it.

Recently, he caught a brown bullhead fish just outside his door.

He said he’s worried about what will happen. Erovick said about 12 people in the area didn’t leave after the mandatory evacuation was issued, and he’s frustrated with residents who put themselves and potential rescuers at risk by not leaving.

More than 1,500 people have been forced from the community and the surrounding area, and the American Red Cross has set up an emergency shelter at a school in Drayton, N.D.

Ron Grube is one of the Cavalier residents who was forced from his home. He said he’s angry he had to leave when there was no water in sight, and  he wanted to stay and protect his home in case anything happens.