Graph of water level: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=fgf&gage=fgon8&view=1,1,1,1,1,1
Just received the following email this morning from my daughter:
Just thought I'd send along a little map & an update on the flood…contingencyplan1.pdf
If you open the .pdf file attachment you can see where Eric & I are located at with regards to the river & flooding. We're in section #2. Yep, section two! So everyone cross your fingers that the weather cooperates and the dikes & levees hold.
We've got all our stuff up on the highest level of our house (above any level at which the water would be able to reach) and have clogged all our basement bathroom & laundry drains in case the sewer backs up, which often times happens in flood situations due to all the water pressure and the lift stations not being able to handle it.
It's pretty crazy to see but this small city looks like a war zone. There are helicopters flying all over, military vehicles everywhere, reserve people in uniforms walking the levees & dikes to monitor them, huge trucks hauling dirt, big equipment digging up school soccer fields for the clay & dirt, semi's hauling giant FEMA generators & pumps. The city has all but shut down completely. It's very surreal.
The crest of 40-41 or so feet is supposed to last between 3-7 days approximately and this, they hope, is the first day of the crest. So it won't be until the middle of next week that we'll know if everyone’s hard work paid off. (Just to give you some perspective, the Red River usually only flows at 14 feet. Our house is at 37.5 feet.)
All the sandbagging is done so there isn't anything for anyone do around here which is almost worse. While sandbagging you can keep your mind & body busy and not have to just sit & WAIT! It's a bit unnerving. We're both very tired and sore from moving furniture, making sandbags and laying sandbags in 20 degree weather. Who knew wet sand bags could freeze into 30-40 lb. frozen hamburger patty like forms – not the best to try and hold back water and no fun to pass back & forth! People were beating them with baseball bats and throwing them on the concrete several times to soften them up. It's definitely been a wild ride that we hope will end soon to our advantage.
Thank goodness Eric & I had the sense early this year to get flood insurance but as you all probably know it's not easy getting $ from FEMA so we're hoping we won't have to use it. We're both confident that we'll stay dry because of the contingency dikes they just built yesterday & today in case the main dikes & levees break. Thankfully we're on the right side of them. Others are not so lucky. So we've been able to take a deep breath once those were in place.
Anyway, we're going to stick it out until they tell us there is a voluntary evacuation. Our friends out of town have our dogs so we don't have to worry about them and we've got bags packed so that, if and when, we can just jump in the cars and leave. Hopefully we won't need to but all we can do now is wait & see.
I'll keep you all posted or you can go to valleyfloodwatch.com or cityoffargo.com too."
Flooded homes in South Fargo
Flooded grain silos on a farm
Sandbagging efforts at FargoDome
Pictures courtesy of AP.