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WDAY: The News Leader

Published January 25, 2013, 08:14 PM

Less flooding means more saving for the Red River Valley

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- With only a small chance of major Red River flooding this spring, local leaders say it shows signs of large savings for the metro area, great news for city budgets.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- With only a small chance of major Red River flooding this spring, local leaders say it shows signs of large savings for the metro area, great news for city budgets.

As the frozen Red River currently sits around fourteen feet....the chance of it causing major flooding this spring, is a low six percent.

Pat Zavoral/Fargo City Administrator: "It's going to be a relatively easy spring if the predictions hold up."

Easy thanks to less sandbagging, equipment damage, and city wide spending.

Zavoral: "We have to find money to use to fight the flood and we take it out of all kinds of budgets."

In Fargo, 2009's flood brought a steep 12 million dollar bill..while minor flooding like 2010 or 11, chalk up about 2 million.

In Moorhead numbers are lower in comparison, but still high. 2009 costing roughly 4.5 million dollars..and 2010 and 11 coming in around six hundred thousand.

Most money ends up reimbursed months or sometimes years later, but until then..it has to come from somewhere.

Mayor Mark Voxland: "If we were to have had a flood this year, probably would've meant borrowing dollars to keep operations going until we start getting dollars from the state."

Even though it's still early, whether you're in Fargo, Moorhead, or West Fargo, the though of no spring flood, means more money for city services.

Rich Mattern/West Fargo Mayor: "Money saved is a good thing, is the way I see it."

West Fargo's diversion brings costs down..but the city still pays thousands to monitor dikes during flood season.

"A lot of people in West Fargo work in Fargo, have family in Fargo, and vice versa, and they worry and not having to do that is a good thing."

Not only saving money, but giving peace of mind. Right now there's a 74% chance the river will reach minor flood stages, of 18 feet.

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