Posted at 4:45 PM on April 4, 2011
by Jon Gordon
Flood defenses are being built to about 44 feet around Fargo-Moorhead.
The city of Fargo reports the North Broadway Bridge between 37th Avenue North and Clay County Highway 22, is closed due to the rising river. On Tuesday the cities will close the 12th Ave. North bridge over the Red.
Moorhead needs volunteers Tuesday and throughout the week for sandbag dike building.
The Minnesota is forecast to crest on Wednesday a foot and a half higher than last week's initial peak. City Manager Steven Jones says the new crest means the city will discontinue sewage service to about 20 homes in flood prone Smith's addition. Portable toilets will be placed in the neighborhood, he expects most residents will stay in their homes.
Jones also says the city has not yet made a decision on whether to build a 1500 foot long temporary levee on Highway 212.
"You know this is going to be our second peak," says Jones. "Maybe it's the last peak, that's our hope."Jones says one plus for the city is that expected weekend rains did not occur. There is a forecast for more rain though later in the week.
"The second round of crests is expected to begin this week in the Minnesota and Crow River basins. At this time the area most impacted will be the Crow River at Mayer reaching 17.4' on the 8th and Delano reaching 21.2' (about a foot higher than the first crest) on the 9th." Homeland Security officials reported this afternoon.
The river is currently at 17.35 ft. According to the current forecast, the river should reach a second crest of 19.5 ft by Monday, April 11.
In St. Paul, officials the current forecast calls for the Mississippi River to rise from 17 feet to 19.5 feet by next Monday. Defenses are in place up to 23 feet.
Mara Solberg and her husband Warren live on their farm in Horace, N.D., south of Fargo. They're part of MPR's Public Insight Network and have been giving us a personal look at the challenges they face as the Wild Rice River swells its banks about 300 feet from their home.
"The river by the bridge came up 28" since last night at 7 so things are starting to get going," Mara wrote us. "We cleaned out the garage, put things up on the deck, and went to town to get medicine, batteries,etc. we need during the flood.
"We decided this time to stay and not try to drive through the water on the road this year. Its just too much work to get the tractor ready. If there is an emergency, there is help available.
"I felt grateful, because I won't be home alone during the day at all. I am sending a picture of the bridge as it looks today and also of the flowers I bought to help me make it through this. I am already stressed, but I feel so calm seeing the flowers in my kitchen!"
"What we're seeing now is bout the best case scenario. Just how wet we were going into it -- to have this type of flooding is about as good as you can ask for. so It really has been a surprise and I think a pleasant surprise for a lot of people," Franks adds that if the trend continues, the second crest expected for the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers may not be as high as the first.
"Flooding is expected to start changing things in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks by the middle of this week, and bridges across the Red River are slated to be closed by the weekend," (Grand Forks Herald).
The Star Tribune ran the numbers:
5 million sandbags
Fargo: currently has 2.5 million filled bags
Moorhead: is sitting on roughly 1.8 million bags
They estimate the cost "between $1 and $3 per sandbag for each flood, accounting for materials, labor, delivery and disposal."