Fargo Mayor's Flood Reassurance Routine - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Fargo Mayor's Flood Reassurance Routine

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As sure as people around here talk taxes this time of year, they also talk flooding.

And every year Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker takes a personal trip to the southern part of the Red River Basin to assess that flood forecast.

He shares with Valley News Team's Hope Hanselman what kind of shape he thinks Fargo will be in.

It's not as scientific as the national weather service, but seven years as mayor and many more as public works director have given this guy real credibility.

"After being here many, many times, you can base this on your experience as far as how much snow is down here," Walaker said.

Mayor Dennis Walaker has seen it all, and in high waters, it's his regular trips to these reservation dams that put him at ease.

"It's good for me, it's very good for me," he said.

Each Spring, Walaker keeps an eye on the snow pack and its melting rate, making judgments for himself and for the sake of his city.

"You're not out there to impress, but you're out there to give them some assurances of what they can expect."

The national weather service says there's a 5% chance the Red River will exceed 38 feet.

Seeing the ice start to break up now, Walaker says Fargo should be safe.

"I don't think we're going to get any of what they consider major flooding, but we are going to get some flooding in Fargo," he said.

Experience has given his intuition a good track record. But, a steady eye gives him confidence and provides Fargoans a sense of relief.

"I saw four flocks of geese flying this morning in Fargo," he said with a laugh. "That's always a good sign."

Walaker predicts the Red River will reach about 32 feet this year.

He says things could change if we some unexpected snow or rain.

Even at that 32-foot mark, however, the river will reach major flood stage.

If you haven't already, sign up for the city's Code RED service. They'll send you emails, text messages and phone calls relating to flood emergencies.

Click here to sign up.

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