Fargo Not Out Of Danger Yet, Storm Winds Could Damage Levees

A winter storm is coming to Fargo, North Dakota with predictions of up to 14 inches of snow. The storm could whip waves up in the swollen Red River causing more flooding.
Engineers aren’t worried about the large snow falls predicted but the waves are another matter. The repeated crashing of the water against the sandbag levees could weaken the protective dikes that surround the city.

Jeff DeZellar, a spokesman for the United States Army Corps of Engineers said that the higher the wind speed the higher the threat is to the levees. The forecast is for winds of 25 MPH.

The Red River has dropped to 39 1/2 feet as of early Monday morning. That is less than the predictions but still 22 feet above flood stage.

This week will be a long one as the city waits to see if last week’s sandbagging effort pays off.

The National Guard is in the process of putting a layer of poly over the levees to help them hold up against the expected high waves.

AP reports:

“The place is so flat,” said John Gulliver, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Minnesota. “It is totally flat so there’s really no place for the water to go because it can’t leave that quickly. So it just keeps backing up like a bathtub with a slow drain.”

Last week two people died from heart attacks in North Dakota, thought to be brought on by the exertion during the flood prevention.

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