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F-M Prepared for the Worst - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

F-M Prepared for the Worst

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A very fast melt and extra precipitation could create a bad situation for the area. Among the possibilities for Fargo-Moorhead, there's about a 1% chance of the Red River reaching 44 feet.

Valley News teams Kristi Larson talked with city engineers about what plans they have in place, in a worst case situation.

Engineers in our area have been preparing the F-M for another flood, but even they don't want to speak of the worst. But it's on the minds of everyone, even Mayor Dennis Walaker's.

"If the river went over 44 feet it's almost impossible to protect our community when it goes at that level." Walaker says.

Both cities have interactive web pages that you can use to simulate the flood stage levels, so as you make the rivers rise, you can see which areas will be affected by the water.

Moorhead City Engineer Bob Zimmerman agrees that high levels would be hard to fight. "You get to those extreme levels, and the properties on the river may have a greater challenge, but our plan would be obviously at this point to assist those property owners to the extent we can, and then build the clay levees to protect all the properties that are not on the river front." Zimmerman says.

A 44 foot crest wouldn't quite look like Minot when it flooded in 2011 where water was up to the roofs. In the F-M that high would make some homes would have water in their basements, and some maybe reaching their first level.

"Actually in the city of Moorhead, as you move east away from the river, a 44 foot flood event would not encompass the entire city." Zimmerman states.

On the cities' web pages there is information like where emergency dikes and sandbags would be placed. In Moorhead a clay levee would be put along Rivershore Drive. It's all things engineers have thought many hours about.

"The cities flood plan is a very detailed plan," Zimmerman says, "Almost 300 individual steps in there, programmed in at very specific river levels."

It's to help protect our cities, in case the worst were to happen.

"Our plan envisions those kinds of things can happen, even though we don't want to talk about those kinds of things," Zimmerman laughs, "But we do have plans in place that we would activate if we needed to do that."

But once again,  the outlook is still at 40.3 feet. There is only about a 1% chance the river would get to that 44 foot level. But even if it does, the cities have a plan.

If you want to see how your property is affected by the river levels here are the cities interactive maps:

For Moorhead: Click Here

For Fargo: Click Here

 

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