In rural Cass County, building and bracing“I don’t have a prayer.” Dwayne Schell whispered that to a man seated next to him at a meeting Monday night detailing the flood situation in Stanley Township, an area of rural Cass County just south of Fargo.
By: J. Shane Mercer, The Forum
“I don’t have a prayer.”
Dwayne Schell whispered that to a man seated next to him at a meeting Monday night detailing the flood situation in Stanley Township, an area of rural Cass County just south of Fargo.
Schell is worried that the home he and his wife, Teresa, own on Forest River Drive is about to be swamped over in part because of the county dikes in the area.
“It’s like we’re in a funnel,” Schell said.
County Engineer Keith Berndt said the dikes there, part of the system of earthen 42-foot levees the county hopes to complete today, may affect the water level around Schell’s house, but the impact would be “inches, not feet.”
“He has reason to worry because he’s low, not because of anything we’re doing,” Berndt said.
Levees, water levels and tensions were starting to rise Monday in the area of homes branching off 76th Avenue South, where trucks have been hauling clay from county-owned land to levees since Friday.
Homeowners spent the day shoring up their yards with sandbags and help from neighbors, family, friends and those with no connection at all but a desire to help.
Grace Hart, whose house on 76th Avenue was moved 40 feet up the riverbank after the basement filled with floodwaters in 1997, received unexpected assistance from Dan Harwood, an NDSU student who used to mow her lawn. Harwood stopped by just to see if the widow needed help Saturday and has taken on the house’s protection.
“This crew is an answer to prayer,” said Terrie Hart-Dahl, Hart’s daughter.
At the home of Anne and Jeff Zarling, the construction was orderly. The Zarlings were in the house in 1997 and had a set system.
Of the 10 people forming a chain to pass sandbags to the back of the house from the driveway filling station, Anne Zarling said she only knew two of them. It’s hard not to get choked up by the generosity, she said.
Staying to hold back the water wasn’t an option for everybody. Dan and Cathy Davidson’s Orchard Park Drive house is on an oxbow of the Red River, the still-frozen water looped around their land. After sandbagging the low spots they headed for a hotel, stashing away a canoe so they can check in later this week.
“I’m just exhausted by the thought of it all,” Cathy Davidson said as they got ready to leave. “You’re helpless,” Dan Davidson added. “You feel guilty asking for too much help.”