FARGO — Overland flooding continued to affect several spots in rural Cass County on Monday afternoon, April 8, county officials said.
"Of particular concern is the Sheyenne River at Kindred which continues to rise above forecasted levels," officials said in a statement issued at about 1 p.m.
As of 12:18 p.m. Monday, the river was at 20.5 feet and was expected to crest at 21.5 feet around midnight Tuesday into Wednesday.
"The Cass County Tactical Operations Center (TOC) has taken several calls in the past hour about rising water levels. Residents are encouraged to monitor their area closely in the coming hours and reach out to Cass County at their earliest indication if they need sandbags," officials said.
Overland flooding in rural parts of the county required overnight emergency responses as some areas inundated that hadn't flooded previously, but no problems have occurred in Fargo where the Red River was forecast to crest at 35 feet this afternoon. As of 12:15 p.m., the river had, in fact, reached 35 feet, according to the National Weather Service.
Officials gave an update on flood-fighting efforts at a Monday morning meeting at Fargo City Hall. City Administrator Bruce Grubb said emergency measures were required in five locations — one protected by a clay levee — and no contingency plans are in place.
The situation is very different in rural Cass County, where overland flooding remains widespread, triggering the need for emergency sandbag deliveries.
"They've been busy," said Mary Scherling, chairwoman of the Cass County Commission, referring to county employees who helped with the overnight sandbag deliveries. "They've been up in the middle of the night. Some sleepless nights and we're not though it yet."
National Guard troops conducted 13 missions Sunday, including emergency sandbag deliveries, but the county still has sandbags in reserve if needed. Rural road closures continue to be required, with more expected as the crest flows north, Jason Benson, Cass County engineer said.
The Sheyenne River at Harwood is cresting around 91.54 feet, a level that is expected to continue for a few days. The Sheyenne flows into the Red near Harwood and the tributary typically starts to recede once the Red drops below 33 feet, officials said.
The Wild Rice River crested Saturday at Abercrombie and St. Benedict is expected to drop a foot over the next few days.
"Most of the news is good news here today," Grubb said. In a week, the Red is expected to drop to about 32 feet. Fargo officials do not anticipate any more flood meetings.
In Cass County, "we're going to have a few more days of dealing with this," Scherling said. She urged rural residents to remain vigilant, noting that conditions can change abruptly.
Cass County Sheriff Jesse Jahner said overland flooding was threatening a group of 20-25 homes in what is known as the Seibel Addition north and west of Harwood, where an earthen dike around one home failed Sunday.
Jahner said the residents of the home called for assistance and flooding on the property was stemmed with emergency sandbagging.
Officials stressed that residents who believe they may need sandbags or other assistance should make a call for help during daytime hours if possible, as it will make providing assistance all the more possible.
The county's flood hotline number is 701-241-8000.
A midweek storm will sweep through South Dakota and southern Minnesota, but should bypass all but perhaps the extreme southern Red River Valley, said Greg Gust, a weather service meteorologist.
Fargo-Moorhead could see a tenth or a quarter inch of moisture from a rain-snow mix, while Wahpeton and areas to the south could get up to half an inch of moisture, he said.
But that moisture won't reach rivers until the crest has passed.
"It's going to be days before that gets into the river system and gets up here," Gust said.