‘Been through big floods before’: City of Harwood preparing for upcoming flood season

Published: Apr. 12, 2023 at 5:42 PM CDT
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HARWOOD, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Towns all across the eastern side of North Dakota are preparing for the upcoming flood season. Areas like Harwood, ND, said they are not too concerned as they’ve seen it all when it comes to floods.

“We’ve been through big floods before here. We’ve been successful in our flood fight everyone of those floods and our preparations for this upcoming flood is no different.” said Blake Hankey, the Mayor of Harwood.

City leaders believe they are set up for success this flood season due to their experiences over the years. Jeremy Snyder, the public works director for Harwood, grew up in Fargo and saw the flood battles first-hand.

“I was in high school in ‘97 during that flood. We got let out, we did a lot of sandbagging. We took some buses to areas and stuff like that. 2009 was kind of the same way.” said Snyder.

The City of Harwood has many scenarios planned out, which includes sandbagging and river gates. If conditions get worse, they also have access to clay they can use for dykes. However, the city don’t expect that to happen.

“The river would have to get to pretty extreme levels. I mean, we’re talking 97 [FEET] or above for us to start using that clay,” said Snyder. “But you always have to have that plan in place, just in case because you never know.”

Leadership said their plans and preparations are in place to protect not only the town, but especially their residents. Mayor Hankey said everyone has bought in to help out.

“Volunteer their time, volunteer physical labor, whatever needs to be done to protect the city against the flood. So just really proud of the citizens of Harwood.” said Hankey.