As Red River Rises, Fargo Residents Start To Flee

The Red River has broken a 112-year flood record today as dozens of families fled their homes. The Red River in North Dakota is starting to crest in Fargo, causing the town to begin evacuating.
Last night the largest hospital in Fargo was evacuated, carrying about 180 patients to safer ground.
Overnight 150 homes were to be evacuated as the water seeped through the sandbag dikes.

Workers are focusing on the main dike in town. Homes that lie between the dike and the barriers may have to be sacrificed. The main roadways have been blocked on Friday so that sandbag trucks can get where they are needed faster.

Bloomberg reports:

“We’re losing neighborhoods south of Fargo in Cass County,” said Bonnie Johnson, Cass County administrator, in an interview yesterday. “We’re losing the battle on the flood fight.”

The river is now at 40.37 feet in Fargo.

Two lignite-fed power stations have been forced to shut down according to KFYR TV. The plants have a combined capacity of 850 megawatts. New generators have been brought on line to keep power up.

Mayor Dennis Walaker isn’t ready to give up the fight yet for his town. IHT quotes the mayor.

“We do not want to give up yet. We want to go down swinging if we go down,” Walaker said Thursday, just hours after the disheartening news that forecasters had — yet again — increased the projected crest of the north-flowing Red River.

At Fargo – Moorhead Flood Information on Facebook the message board has been going strong with volunteers saying where the sandbags are urgently needed.

Robert Fitzgerald wrote to let others know the road closures.

The Fargo Police Department is announcing the closure of several roads that will be used for flood truck traffic only. The closures will begin at 6:00 a.m. Friday, March 27. The closures are as follows:

University Dr. from 35th Ave. N. to 40th Ave. S.

10th St. from 13th Ave. S. to 19th Ave. N.

NP Ave. from University Dr. to the river

7th Ave. N. from University Dr. to the river

19th Ave. N. from University Dr. to Elm St.

The North Dakota National Guard will be assisting the Fargo Police Department at significant intersections to ensure the smooth flow of truck traffic and to block civilian traffic from using these roadways. Cross traffic will be allowed in a controlled manner.

The Fargo Police Department is requesting the assistance of the public to ensure these critical roadways are kept open to allow flood fighting efforts to continue as rapidly as possible.

At the bend in the Missouri River near Bismarck ice has started to pile up. That ice is creating even more problems as it disrupts the river’s flow. More than 1,700 people had to flee their homes as the water spilled over its banks.

To help relieve the backwater demolition companies have been blasting the ice to break them up.

ABC reports:

“We had to relieve some of the backwater, which was threatening the people and property of Bismarck,” said Eric Kelly, a member of the Advanced Explosives Demolition Inc.

While hundreds of homes in Bismarck were flooded the safety measures have saved thousands more.

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