Damage still unknown south of FargoCass County officials just can’t say how many rural homes have been lost to floodwaters.
By: By Sherri Richards, INFORUM
Cass County officials just can’t say how many rural homes have been lost to floodwaters.
Keith Berndt, county engineer and incident manager, flew over affected areas Saturday afternoon and has walked through several neighborhoods south of Fargo.
He knows communities such as Briarwood, Forest River and Heritage Hills have each lost at least a half-dozen homes. In the Chrisan subdivision east of University Drive, five of the 12 homes on the river side of an earthen levee had been lost as of Saturday afternoon.
But many outlying homes are inaccessible, and Berndt simply doesn’t know if they’ve won or lost the battle.
“I was surprised how many were holding on,” he said.
The County Commission issued a mandatory evacuation advisory Friday, which affected about 160 homes south of Fargo along the Red.
Since Wednesday, the county has rescued 85 people by boat and 37 people by air, the majority from south of Fargo, said Sgt. Judy Tollefson with the sheriff’s office.
While the Red River is responsible for most of the homes lost so far, it’s not the only waterway causing problems for Cass.
“No one even has a clue that we have four rivers that come together within five miles of each other and they all empty into the Red,” said Cass County Commissioner Ken Pawluk.
Amenia struggled with a rising Rush River last week.
Kindred hasn’t had any problems yet, Berndt said, but is preparing for the Sheyenne River to possibly overflow.
Homes and roads along the Maple and Wild Rice rivers are also affected by flooding.
A bright spot of the story, Pawluk said, is that the Maple River Dam in southwest Cass County is holding back water, keeping the Maple River from flooding the Sheyenne.
Berndt said the Sheyenne could still cause problems north of West Fargo, where the Sheyenne Diversion and river meet.
“They haven’t seen the worst of it yet,” Berndt said.
Berndt met with National Guard, county and city officials late Saturday afternoon to discuss salting ice jams north of West Fargo.
The salt would loosen the jams and hopefully keep the Sheyenne from backing up.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Sherri Richards at (701) 235-7311