Homeowners should expect flood levels similar to 2011 and 2019, Cass Co. officials say

Published: Apr. 10, 2023 at 10:50 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 10, 2023 at 5:06 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Planning for the worst but hoping for the best; That’s what Cass County officials say the motto is going into this spring’s flood fight.

“It could a pretty good size flood, one of the top 10, or it could one that comes to the height we’d like to not get to. We have to be prepared,” Fargo Mayor Dr. Tim Mahoney said.

Officials say last week’s snow storm means more water is in the ground and it’s headed upstream. And as temperatures hover around 50 this week, officials say significant melting is expected to start soon.

“We’re going to see initial rise on the river, flatten out around 30 feet, but still believe there’s another rise after that point,” Fargo Engineer Nathan Boerboom said.

As it stands today, Fargo has a 90 percent chance of reaching major flood stage at 30.7 feet, and a five percent chance of the Red River breaking the 38-foot mark. Meanwhile, Harwood is in a similar, if not more severe situation.

“People should expect at least what they saw in 2019 for flood elevations, to what they saw in 2011, which was near record about 91.8,” Cass County Engineer Jason Benson said.

For those in the rural areas of Cass County, officials want homeowners to keep a close eye on their properties as conditions can quickly get out of hand. And they emphasize for those impacted by the rising river to remember that there’s a community waiting to offer a helping hand.

“Now is not the time to be a stern, firm-hearted North Dakotan, Minnesotan. If you need help, you need to ask,” Cass County Commissioner Chad Peterson said.

On Monday afternoon, Valley News Live will get a behind-the-scenes look at “Sandbag Cass”, which is what officials are calling the sandbag operations at 1201 Main Ave. W. in West Fargo.

Sandbag filling will happen April 11-19. As of Friday, April 7, a total of 200,000 sandbags need to be filled; 100,000 for Cass County, 80,000 for Fargo, 5,000 for West Fargo and 15,000 for backup.

If you are interested in volunteering, you can sign up at www.casscountynd.gov/volunteer or call Public Information Coordinator Catlin Solum at 701-241-5794.

For general flood related questions, call the Cass County Flood Hotline at (701) 241-8000.