Highlights from the 8am flood meeting in Fargo
* Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker is reading from a statement. I’ve been too busy to hear what’s been said or written about him but he emphasized that “the buck stops with me,” and he accepts full responsibility for what he’s said.
* Walaker addressed people who were upset about his good-natured ribbing of the University of North Dakota, which lost a hockey game. Seriously. Some UND supporters paused long enough to get upset about a joke. So today Walaker is wearing a “Fighting Sioux” cap.
* Walaker said his “thrill” today was meeting Al Roker.
* City Commissioner Tim Mahoney says it’s unsettling not to get a call at 3 a.m. anymore, but “things are calming down.” But the river is only four-tenths of a foot below the high-water mark of the historic 1997 flood.
* Here’s the latest river projection:
* A blizzard is heading this way. 8-12 inches is expected. A lot of streets weren’t plowed from the last storm.
* Bruce Johnson checked in (by way of comments below) and reports good things on Riverview Circle:
Hi Bob, It is in the middle of the night and I am in the garage taking a break from managing the pumps in our back yard. This is the first time I have had time to go to your blog and see your good work. All of my family in Nebraska are concerned about what is going on up here so I will get them on your site! It is quiet out here tonight. I just talked with 5 firemen from Duluth that are walking the dike. They were told they can go home and get some sleep in a half hour. Last night we had firefighters and national gaurd walking thru the yard every 10 minutes or so. This is a good sign. We have food and coffee in the garage but this is the first night nobody is hanging out in here. I have the fire pit glowing with a nice fire outside. I am down to 2 pumps and they are not runing full time so the seepage is really slowing down. Time to check the dike and pumps. Keep up the good work! Bruce
* The wind is kicking up and will affect outlying areas.
* Schools are closed on both sides of the river. No date for reopening yet. Buses aren’t available for students because they’re being used for emergency purposes.
* By noon, they’ll suspend sandbag-making.
* The focus is shifting to relocating medical cases and special needs back to the area. That will be done over 3 days probably starting at mid-week.
* A doctor again cautions that people need to maintain humor. “One of the things returning warriors talk about is the ‘new normal,’” he said. “For those who don’t get back to feeling normal, ask for help, talk among yourselves. It’s a very good gauge for telling whether you’re getting on track. The houses are not the family. Continue to work on the relationships.”
It looks the river will fall below the Riverview Circle sandbags on Friday afternoon, a day earlier than predicted yesterday. I have had a touch of food poisoning (dinner, not from my friends in Moorhead!), and will try to hobble back to the neighborhood late this morning, check in with everyone and then if all is calm, probably head back to the cities. I plan on returning on the weekend.