ND Governor Orders Immediate Evacuation of Oceti Sakowin Camp: Morton County Sheriff Officers Arresting People Camp’s Entrance

Photo by Jenni Monet

Breaking News

Published February 15, 2017

CANNON BALL, NORTH DAKOTA — North Dakota  Governor Doug Burgum on Wednesday afternoon issued an Evacuation Order of Oceti Sakowin camp “effective immediately.”

With between 300 to 400 campers still camping on Wednesday at Oceti Sakowin camp, several have been attempted to leave the camp. Reports out of camp are Morton County sheriff deputies have been stationed at the main entrance to the camp and been arresting some attempting to leave. Personal belongings are being confiscated. 

Yesterday, February 14, 2017, Maj. French Pope of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Headquarters Operations Center will visit the main protest camp – which lies on Corps-managed federal land – to assess the situation and determine what resources are needed to complete the environmental cleanup before potential major spring flooding arrives.

The following statement was issued by the Governor Burgum on Tuesday:

“With near-record high temperatures expected later this week and significant meltwater flooding already occurring, the situation grows increasingly unsafe by the day. Immediate action is needed to protect human life and prevent any further pollution of the Missouri and Cannonball rivers. Today’s assessment by the Army Corps of Engineers is crucial to accelerating the cleanup process so this land can be properly cleared of garbage, structures, vehicles and human waste before it washes into the rivers. We cannot afford to wait any longer.

The National Weather Service reports that watersheds including the Knife, Heart, and Cannonball rivers should be on the watch for rising water levels and an increased risk of ice-related high water near the end of the week.

This is a developing story. It will will be updated as more information becomes available. 

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