Flood Fight Update-Sheyenne River Edition

Waters go up, waters go down.  Good news, bad news. Last week the folks in Fargo got some good news—a lower 2nd crest expected on the Red River.  This week the folks in Valley City and the Sheyenne River Valley are getting their turn in the spotlight.

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When I worked in the Red River Valley, my office was on the campus of Mayville State University, which was paired at the time with Valley City State University.  Mayville had their share of water, and closed for awhile in 1997 to house “guests” when the city of Grand Forks was evacuated.  Now, VCSU is closing up shop for the semester.  The Forum‘s website is reporting:

[VCSU] has canceled all activities for the remainder of the semester and plans to continue with classes and finish the semester in whatever manner possible using technology, the release said.

“There are simply too many unknowns at this time, and with a two-week expected evacuation we do not have the ability to expect students back on campus,” the release states.

Below is a good use of new media by local cable TV to inform the public, especially since VCSU is (I believe it still is) a laptop U so students are probably more likely to see Youtube than the Evening News.

Parts of Valley City are being evacuated, as well as the small town of Kathryn just south of Valley City.  It’s not just the big rivers causing problems:

A Blackhawk helicopter is en route to the Clausen Spring Dam in an effort to protect the dam’s spillway. Dirt work around the dam is ongoing to divert the water from flowing over the dam so that the helicopter can drop 12 1,000-pound sandbags in an effort to protect the integrity of the dam…

View Kathryn, N.D., being evacuated because of erosion to nearby dam in a larger map 

A major crisis may have been averted in Fargo-Moorhead, but we still have a lot of work to do.  There’s immediate cleanup and post-disaster mitigation—buyouts, repairs, re-inforcement.  Then there’s the long-term planning to prevent another disaster.  It’s a big job and it’s time to get it done.

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