The area where Dakota Access Pipeline protesters have been camping for several months is a flood zone and now it appears the flooding is on its way. From the Associated Press:
Minor flooding is almost certain this spring in the area where Dakota Access pipeline opponents have camped for months to protest the project, the National Weather Service said Friday.
The report, the first flood outlook for the season, shows little chance of significant flooding but indicates floodwaters could reach at least parts of the camp.
Flooding is a concern for at least two reasons. First, there are still around 300 people camped out in the area, many in tents. Unexpected flooding could be a genuine threat to their lives and help from first responders will not be immediately available given the location. The other reason flooding is a concern is environmental. Anything in the path of the flood will wind up in the river. Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault warned about this back in November. From Vice:
I heard that they’re digging pits down there for their human waste. That’s a flood zone. So when the floodwaters come up, that waste is going to be contaminating the water. We’re no different than the oil company, if we’re fighting for water. What’s going to happen when people leave? Who has to clean it up? Who has to refurbish it?
Archambault tells the AP, “There is a lot of debris, abandoned cars. When the flood comes all of that stuff is going to contaminate the environment.”
The Standing Rock Sioux have been telling the protesters to leave the site since December. As Jazz reported Sunday, the tribal council formally asked the remaining protesters to leave and passed a unanimous resolution asking that the camps be dismantled. The protesters have been claiming for months that they are there to support the tribe, but for the protesters who remain that’s clearly not the case.