I-29 north of Fargo remains closed due to floodwatersby Dan Gunderson, Minnesota Public Radio
Fargo, N.D. — The North Dakota Department of Transportation expects Interstate 29 north of Fargo to remain closed for a couple more days. The interstate was closed on Sunday when several inches of floodwater flowed across all four lanes.
DOT Engineer Kevin Gorder said the water is going down, but damage to the roadway needs to be repaired. Gorder said the biggest concern is erosion.
"We have pictures in our office of pipes that have been washed out and all you see is this bridge of pavement that's not designed for it," Gorder said. "You put traffic on that and it's a recipe for disaster, so we have to be very careful and cautious.
Gorder said they want to get the traffic back on the road that was designed to carry that load, but that the number one priority is to do it safely.
The Interstate traffic is currently detoured onto state highways. Those roads are sustaining some serious damage because of all the heavy truck traffic.
OFFICIALS SAY WATER, INTENSITY DROPPING
Officials monitoring flooding on the Red River system in the Fargo area say the intensity level is down but many roads in the county and a large stretch of Interstate 29 remain closed.
The river level in Fargo on Wednesday morning was 37.4 feet, down from Saturday's crest of 38.75. Officials say the water is slowly dropping north of the city, where unprecedented overland flooding has left many rural residents isolated.
The National Guard is being called off levee patrol in Fargo.
Fargo officials say that five homes sustained damage from the flood, most from pump failures.
Officials from Fargo and Cass County have offered assistance for Valley City, about 50 miles east of Fargo, where the Sheyenne River is expected to crest about 2 feet higher than originally forecast.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)