I’m at the daily flood information meeting at the Fargo City Hall. About 30 people — all men — are sitting around a table.
Fargo Mayor Dennis Walker announces the Red River has crested at Wahpeton at a level below that which was predicted. “We need another good day and we assume the same is going to happen today,” he said.
Gov. John Hovan said he couldn’t get home last night because of a blizzard in Bismarck. About 800 North Dakota National Guard members will be in the area by later today.
Hoping to get a federal disaster declaration today. They’re hoping to get 90 percent reimbursement. “In 1997, we got 100 percent,” the mayor said.
A few officials were upset by an article in the Fargo Forum newspaper today in which a Salvation Army official said he was seeing more “fear.”
” Fear. We don’t see any fear, we just see people working very hard,” the mayor said. “There may be people concerned and they’re always concerned.”
At the meeting a Salvation Army official apologized for the comment.
The mayor said people are showing up from Minnesota to volunteer. “People in Minnesota are bypassing Moorhead, which I think is kind of interesting,” the Fargo mayor said. And he’s right. If you didn’t know any better, you wouldn’t think there’s a flood problem in Moorhead.
South Fargo — Most of the area will be “buttoned up” today, the Army Corps of Engineers said.
Will close University Drive if the water gets over 40 feet.
“We’re diking where we’ve never diked before,” one official said.
Preparing to close sewers. Sewage systems are “keeping up.”
The goal was 200,000 per day, then 250,000 per day, now trying to get 300,000 a day. They put out a call for volunteers on Monday. A second central sandbagging location was set up on Monday. 280,000 bags were filled on Monday, overnight, another 170,000 bags were filled. “We think we hit the 450,000 bag mark yesterday,” an official said to applause.
“The bad news is we still need more. We need to continue making sandbags through Saturday in case we need to fortify levees,” he said.
Classes have been canceled at North Dakota State University until further notice. About 3,200 students have been filling sandbags.