Epic Flood: Day 2

posted Tuesday, March 24th 2009 at 3:30 PM by

No update from day 1 because that day was mostly spent sandbagging.

So far the river is creeping up on the houses closest to the river, and cutting off some folks who live in rural areas with overland flooding.

With the added rainfall we got in the last few days, the river is expected to crest a week sooner and higher than expected. It is also expected to crest higher than the historic 1997 flood. Most estimates of a 40 foot crest (or higher) would make this a record flood.

So far I've made the standard precautions. I've stocked up on extra water and non-perishable food. I've purchased a fire extinguisher and today I will finish work on a solar powered cell phone charger. So in the event of no power for an extended period I will still be able to maintain a line of communication. Not just for myself but for everyone in the building if necessary.

The worst case scenario, is that the levee protecting the city will break. If thats the case, I am likely to remain high and dry, but river front property will be only two blocks away. Some maps estimate that more than 1/3 of Fargo is protected from a 40 foot flood by a system of levees. If a number of these fail, it has the potential to encircle parts of Fargo and displace thousands.

That being said, sandbagging is on everyones minds and lips. Everyone you talk to has volunteered. Campuses and schools are shut down to allow students to sandbag. Employers are letting workers leave to lend a hand. Even those not physically able to help are lending their support by cooking meals and providing transportation. Everyone is helping.

Its going to take quite a bit of work. I can barely lift my arms above my head from all the sandbagging yesterday. I know a lot of people that can say the same thing. But one thing is for sure: the river wont stop any time soon, and neither will we.

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