WDAY: The News Leader

Published March 02, 2011, 09:49 AM

Richland County leaders gear up for another flood fight

Wahpeton, ND (WDAY TV) - Experienced flood fighters in Richland county say there's potential for some of the worst overland flooding the county has seen. A meeting was held for local leaders, mayors, township leaders, and emergency response personnel. 50 people in all came together to gear up for another flood fight.

This sharp memory will soon again be reality for people in Richland County. Emergency Manager Brett Lambrecht is getting local leaders on the same page.

BRETT LAMBRECHT - Emergency Manager: "Remember the Guards are last in and first out, so we have to use our use of local volunteers first."

He says communities need to set up a command chain. It keeps communication to the county clear and assures everything that goes to the media comes from the right person.

"Understanding our local responsibilities and trying to coordinate with local people first."

With flooding becoming an annual event, Lambrecht wants everything down on paper. It covers reimbursement and he says it's the best way to get better at fighting back.

"What happened, what was supposed to happen, what we should have learned from this, what corrective measures or actions are recommended."

Abercrombie is a perfect example of improvement. This is video from '09, the city was one of the worst hit spots in the county. This year, city leaders expect a different story, in fact no story. They spent 13 thousand dollars to put a dike on the south side of town.

DAVID HAMMOND - Abercrombie Vice Mayor: "To divert all the water that comes over land and make it go to the river before, it used to come and hit our storm sewers and overtake our storm sewers."

As far as the county goes, Lambrecht told the crowd it's preparing for a flood similar to '09. He did warn them however, with very high snow pack, soil moisture, and streams, and cold wintery conditions expected to last another month, this years flood could hit hard and possibly be the worst they've seen.