Flood Protection will be raised to 43 feetFargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- The heavy snow and the possibility for volatile rain is threatening the valley with worse flooding than city leaders first imagined.
By: Andrea Hubbell, WDAY
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- The heavy snow and the possibility for volatile rain is threatening the valley with worse flooding than city leaders first imagined.
Now, city engineers suggest raising flood protection in Fargo to 43 feet.
And in a surprise move, taking action knocking down homes in a vulnerable neighborhood.
This means the F-M area has a lot of work ahead and only a limited amount of time to get it all done. One engineer said this flood season could be a "real monster" and says we only have about 15 days to get ready. For a little perspective, that's about the same amount of time we had back in 09 to prepare.
Mark Bittner/Fargo City Engineer: "It's better to be safe than underwater"
At this point, nothing is certain.
Mike Williams/Fargo City Commissioner: "43 would be a huge record."
But with never ending snow and projected rain for the end of the month, the city wants to be sure.
Williams/Fargo City Commissioner: "We have 750 thousand sandbags that were preserved from 2011."
And we'll need every last one. To protect to 43 feet, engineers call for almost 2 million sandbags.
Pat Zavoral/Fargo City Administrator: "The staff is really nervous about here, 15 days to get everything done."
Sandbag Central is set to reopen to fill 500,000 more. That could happen as soon as Wednesday. And the work doesn't end there. Over 200 thousand dollars worth of trapbags and aquafences will be hauled in - and placed in the most vulnerable areas.
April Walker/Fargo City Engineer: "Edgewood drive is one, El zagal bowl it was marginal, we were just going to watch. Well, now we'll have deploy something around the El Zagal bowl."
And in this emergency status requested by the mayor, split second decisions had to be made.
Oak Creek Resident: "We said get the houses out."
Oak Creek Resident: "I don't think there is any reason to take the houses down at this point. I really don't"
Commissioners decided to tear down Oak Creek's bought out homes to build a dike to save the rest of the neighborhood. Ending an on-going battle which had been brewing for years.
Walker/Fargo City Engineer: "We can eliminate a lot of that with trapbag at the higher elevation."
All part of a message saying, we must act now.
This coming Friday, Fargo Commissioners will hold a special meeting to update everyone on their flood fighting plans. You can watch it live, here on WDAY at 8 a.m.