New member
Some of you have wished me well, as if it were me who was experiencing the flooding on the Red River in Fargo, North Dakota. I appreciate your concerns, but I'm not even close.

Fargo lies some 80 miles east of me in the Red River Valley. About 40 miles east of me, should one travel from west to east on I-94, one begins a fairly rapid descent into what is determined to be the basin of a glacial lake called Aggasiz. This is a flat area, stretching from the northern part of South Dakota on north into Canada's province of Manitoba. At the bottom of this glacial lake lies the Red River. "The Red", as it's known locally, isn't a huge river, a few hundred feet wide at the top, but because of the nature of the land around it, once it spills its banks, the water travels overland quickly. The Red is not controlled by any dams, but is allowed to run its natural course. Normally in spring, the water threatens the banks, but rarely spills over more than a few feet. Permanent dikes are in place to handle that.

This past winter has seen near, if not, record snowfalls. About three weeks ago, we experienced a warmup and rain which began a sudden snowmelt. This was the beginning of the problem. Add to that another warmup with more snowmelt flowing into The Red and problems develop more quickly.

The national weather service gave flood crest predictions, for which Fargo and neighboring Moorehead, Mn. began preparations. Almost as quickly as plans were put to work, the predictions have grown higher. First predictions were for a 38' crest, and have risen to 42-43 feet. The timeline for the crest was also moved up. So, they had to sandbag and dike for more water in shorter time.

I cannot speak with any authority as to the severity of the situation right now, but I know it's not a good outlook for sections of the city. Nursing home residents, and hospital patients are being evacuated. The nursing home which dw works in is receiving a few of the evacuees.
There is one part of town, of which I am not familiar, which is being given a mandatory evacuation order for 6 am tomorrow. They fear the dikes may not be high, or strong enough to handle the flood crest.

Meanwhile, in outlying areas, flooded properties are already the scenes of rescues by helicopter and airboat.

Jamestown, North Dakota lies at the confluence of two rivers. The James and Pipestem converge in Klaus Park, which lies in the southwest part of town. Both rivers are dammed and post no threat as of this time. Rapid snowmelt will prompt the Army Corps of Engineers to open gates on both dams sometime in the future. Plans for dikes here and there are in the works. The worst part of this scenario is the ground water which accompanies high river flows that will seep into basements and sanitary sewer lines in areas close to the river.

As of right now, Biskit has no worries. However, he is sending prayers upward on behalf of his neighbors to the east.

Please join me, if you're of a mind to, will you?


Tortes Are Us
Super Site Supporter
Of course! I would hate to see widepread devastation anywhere. And I am glad that you and dw are ok. I have been keeping my eyes on the news and have been concerned about you. Thanks for posting this.


Gold Site Supporter
As of right now, Biskit has no worries. However, he is sending prayers upward on behalf of his neighbors to the east.

Please join me, if you're of a mind to, will you?

Hi Biskit. My Mom is from Fargo and Dad was from Moorhead. They grew up with the flooding of the Red as did their parents. I heard about the "bombing" of the ice jam in the Missouri at Bismark yesterday. I can still remember in the late 40's when my Dad took me down by the bridge to witness the same procedure at the same place.

Keep the James under control will ya and keep us informed. Say hi to my buds in Gackle and Streeter.