FARGO — Fargo city officials outlined what flood-mitigation steps still need to be taken now that the Red River is expected to crest at 35 feet sometime late Monday, April 8.

Also, Cass County officials said Wednesday that rural areas near the Red, Sheyenne and Maple rivers are expected to see significant overland flooding in coming days. County and township roads in low-lying areas around Harwood, Argusville and north of West Fargo could soon be covered by rising water, and vehicle access to private property may be reduced or cut off, officials said.

Current information including river levels, road closures and contact information for authorities can be found on the "2019 Flood Information" tab at www.casscountynd.gov. The county's flood hotline is 701-241-8000.

The Fargo City Commission held a special meeting Wednesday during which Nathan Boerboom, a city engineer, outlined steps that will be taken between Wednesday and Monday evening, much of which will involve setting up levees made of large, fast deployment sandbags, known as trap bags.

Trap-bag levees will be constructed at several locations, including Oak Grove Lutheran School, Second Street South, Lindenwood Drive, and 64th Avenue South. Boerboom said a clay levee will be constructed in the area of Madelyn's Meadows, a neighborhood in Fargo's south end.

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The National Weather Service stated on Wednesday, April 3, that the Red River could possibly crest late Monday, April 8, at 35 feet. The weather service cautioned that that forecast could change depending on variables such as ice and precipitation.
The National Weather Service stated on Wednesday, April 3, that the Red River could possibly crest late Monday, April 8, at 35 feet. The weather service cautioned that that forecast could change depending on variables such as ice and precipitation.

Boerboom told commissioners that floodgates were being installed Wednesday to seal off the floodwall near City Hall and that Second Street North, which often must close for construction of clay levees during floods, will remain open.

The National Weather Service said Wednesday that the Red River could crest in Fargo-Moorhead late Monday at a river stage of 35 feet. That forecast is subject to change given many variables, including the ice-jam factor, said Amanda Lee, a weather service hydrologist.

Lee said the river is expected to reach 35 feet sometime late Monday and remain at that level for a time before slowly starting to fall late Tuesday, April 9.

A 35-foot flood would place this year's flood in the top 10 recorded floods in Fargo-Moorhead history. Major flood stage is 30 feet.

A number of bridges, parks and trails in Fargo-Moorhead have already shut down due to flooding, including: the North Broadway Bridge, the 12th Avenue North Bridge (formerly known as the toll bridge), and riverfront parks and trails along the Red.

Moorhead flood prep

Moorhead officials said Wednesday that they were actively closing storm sewer gates and using pumping stations to maintain drainage. They said over the next few days Moorhead would:

  • close the Interstate 94 underpass and install the temporary removable floodwalls in the Brookdale-Horn Park area.
  • close several park roads expected to flood, including the entrance to Gooseberry Mound Park and the Woodlawn Park road.

  • close the First Avenue North underpass and the First Avenue North bridge, which is expected to happen about 9 a.m. on Friday, April 5, after the morning rush hour.

  • close Wall Street between Second Street and Ninth Street. This is expected to happen sometime on Sunday, April 7, or Monday, April 8. Clay County will handle the closing as it is a county road.

With a predicted crest of 35 feet, Moorhead will not need to construct any temporary levees, and it will only need minimal sandbags — less than 5,000 — to protect city infrastructure, said Tom Trowbridge, assistant city engineer.