Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dikes in Grand Forks; Fargo Holding Steady

We're breathing a sigh of relief this morning for Fargo, ND. We're still holding our breathe for them, but it's looking so much better. Still, houses have been lost. . . . but it's pretty horrific if you lose a whole city. Fargo's dikes provide protection to 42 feet; the river is at 40.82. . . but does not seem to be rising! The challenge is that with our current temperatures (about 5 degrees), this may just represent a pause; snow still has to melt, flow over the fields to the river, and we watch both the river and the sky.

This is the bridge at the end of the block, where I work, in Grand Forks, ND. Grand Forks is protected to 60 feet (3 feet if we add clay to the tops), and the predicted crest is 52 feet. After the water leaves Fargo, it winds its way 70 miles up the Red River to Grand Forks. . . so we're next. But after the '97 flood, we built an extensive, permanent, dike system. This gate blocking the bridge, is usually open. Here's a link to a web cam on a building looking at this river, with an accompanying chat room. River Cam Oddly, many have been. . . well. . . . just watching the cam! I drove across this bridge quite a few times last week.

I drove around the back of some stores to get closer to the gate to take a photograph. I believe it was technically still legal.

But what these kids are doing is not. The police car first drove up to where I was, perhaps to remind me that I would risk arrest and an $800 fine if I tried to go up the dike to photograph the river, but then he spotted these kids, flash lights, used his speaker to warn them to get off the dike.

This is a very reassuring sight of the dike/levee along 3rd street.

I'll post later today some photos along the only bridge still crossing the river.


Heather said...

I've been thinking of you a lot and finally came by your blog to let you know I'm praying for you and the rest of the residents of your area...!

shirley said...

Been thinking about you, so I'm glad to read some of this positive news. Hope things hang in there!

Carol said...

Glad to hear everything is holding steady at the moment. It is so hard to believe that the wall in the last photo is all the protection you have.