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Being Prepared for the Potential of a Flood Fight - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Being Prepared for the Potential of a Flood Fight

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The melt has started and now we can only wait for the rivers to rise. Those who've lived in this area likely know what to do to be ready. The neighborhood meetings started in Fargo Tuesday evening to help prepare people for a possible flood. But have you done anything yet to prepare your home and your property?

In south Fargo the city has already cleaned off residents front yards of snow just in case they have to drop sand bags off in the coming weeks. Many residents have prepared their yards for the volunteers that will likely show up to hold back the Red River. But clearing areas of snow in your yard that will likely hold sand bags soon enough is just part of getting ready.

For the last week, and really the past 30 plus years, Jim Papachek has been preparing for the flood. It's become old hat for him and many of his neighbors."Lot of people don't realize there's a lot that has to be done before the people come and put sandbags down. It's just part of living here." Says Papachek.

Because after all having a view like this comes with a price. Papachek says it's well worth it,"I mean anything that you really enjoy is work and you have to work at it to make it go."

So how do they hold the Red back, year after year? Experience is a lot of it. The experts recommend getting folks who have created dikes before to help lay them down especially the base. But first things first. Ken Hellevange, an extension engineer at NDSU's Extension Services says break out the snow blower one more time,"get your snow blower to the backyard where ever your going to build that dike and get the snow removed as close as you can to the bare ground." Says Hellevange.

Putting bags on top of snow is a rookie mistake, Hellevange says that's a sure bet for a leak. But most dikes will have a leak or two that's why we have sump pumps. So break your sump pump out of storage and make sure it still works.

If you have to go to the hardware store ,you'll also need some plastic for an added measure to hold the water back. This one Hellevange says is critical,"we always face the sandbag dike with plastic that's the first line of defense. We need to think about the sandbags but we need to think about the plastic. Making sure it's purchased and ready to be used."

Being ready is the key. You don't want to be the one neighbor on the block, who wasn't ready for the flood of volunteers that typically show up when the going gets tough.

Papachek says that's part of the reason why he's ready today. That and he's right on the front lines of the flood fight, "I realize that my house is a barrier for the people of Fargo and I take that seriously and I think the people along this section do to."

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