"In the northeast corner of Wahpeton, North Dakota, a park lies along the banks of the Red River of the North. This natural setting is a veritable paradise for song birds, waterfowl and wildlife. The early Native American Settlers name the site "Chahinkapa" meaning "end of the woods." It was a favorite meeting place for the Indians who established summer camps for bison hunting. Two rivers (Bois de Sioux and Ottertail) joined her to form the Red River at the spot where the Minnesota timber land ended and the grassy plains of Dakota began." Whapeton Zoo Animals
"MEDORA, N.D. Justin Droegemueller remembers how he felt last spring driving Interstate 94 into western Minnesota.
He passed billboard after billboard with pictures of his friends, each promoting North Dakota top tourist attraction. It was then that the Morris, Minn., native realized his summer job was a big deal.
Justin Droegemueller belts out a tune during the
Justin Droegemueller belts out a tune during the "Medora Musical." Droegemueller, of Morris, Minn., is performing in the musical this summer for the first time.
Morris Sun Tribune Photo Gallery Icon Photo gallery: Medora Musical
didn't understand how big the Thedora Music was out here," he said.
The 25-year-old had only visited nearby Theodore Roosevelt National Park as a high school student, never seeing the musical before he became one of a dozen Burning Hills Singers who star in it every night during the summer.
Now, a visitor may stop by Medora and see him kicking up his heels, belting out country songs and delivering gospel tunes.
Droegemueller is among the 20- to 28-year-old singers who will perform 94 nights this summer at the edora Musical."
Like Droegemueller, many of the singers are or hope to be professional actors, singers or dancers. They are honing their art starring in the two-hour nightly production, which probably will be attended by 110,000 people by the time the season ends Sept. 2.
Droegemueller works back stage at the Twin Cities Children's Theater and has acted at the Black Hills Playhouse and other places.
be the theater renaissance man," he said of his many duties.
He lives in Minneapolis, but is taking to Medora.
ï¿½ï¿½×ª love the landscape out here,ï¿½ß¡ï¿½he said on a hilltop overlooking North Dakota's badlands.
The young performers like Droegemueller know they have a good gig.
Jocelyn Eve Klingbeil, studying to be a social worker, may be most appreciative of all.
looking at it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Klingbeil, one of the few singers not planning to make performing a career.
For Bethany Orn Andrist, it is much more than a one-shot summer job: ï¿½ï¿½×µhe musical means the world to me. ... I just love it."
It's not just the show that Bethany's husband, Levi Andrist, sees as special: he setting of the show is unique.
You could say that. The venue is under the stars in the middle of western North Dakotaï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ badlands, with the rugged country part of the backdrop along with elk, horses, lightning and whatever else happens along.
Klingbeil, a Minot, N.D., resident attending Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., is like many of the performers; she grew up going to the musical, a blend of country, oldies, gospel and patriotic music, with a few laughs and an actor portraying President Theodore Roosevelt thrown in.
Others are like Droegemueller and never had seen the performance, or even been to Medora before auditioning. Some were not even fans of the music they now sing every night.
never listened to country music in my life,said first-year singer Chris Kuhn of West Fargo, N.D. opened my eyes to a new genre.
The singers musical interests vary.
Chet Wollan of St. Anthony, Minn., leans toward funky rock, although he and sister Alexis spent every summer of their lives in Medora, a definitely western town. Their father, Curt Wollan, was a Burning Hills singer himself in the late 1970s and has been involved ever since, now producing the show through his Twin Cities-based company. He also produces plays and other productions in the Twin Cities and nationwide, including at the Smokey Mountain theme park Dollywood.
Professionals in the company agree Medora is different than their usual gigs.
Bo Price of Wasta, S.D., returned to Medora for his fifth year after performing in North Carolina and Florida. The Burning Hills Singers chorographer, Price said that Medora is more laid back.
have worked with chorographers who yell at you, Price said. ¸e are demanding in a nice way
Big-city entertainers often have an attitude.
µhere is a lot more ego, Chet Wollan said.
Kuhn is learning the opposite.
ne of the best things I am learning is how to be humble, how to take criticism, he said.
There is none of that criticism from audience members, many of whom are in their 60s and 70s.
On a recent warm night when the audience rushed the stage for singers' autographs, there was nothing but praise for the just-completed performance. Many snapped pictures of the singers, who always make time to meet fans.
In all probability, no one knew that Price was sick that night.
¸e have to be on every single night, he had said earlier in the day.
Without understudies, he is right in two ways they have to be on stage and they have to be on their game seven nights a week during the summer.
Shows rarely are canceled (usually only if lightning threatens the amphitheater), although when rain makes the stage slick the dancing may be curtailed.
The Medora Musical and its predecessors have provided entertainment most summer nights since ld Four Eyes, drama about Roosevelt, opened in 1958. The drama turned into a musical after Harold Schafer took over the operation in 1965 and it has remained much the same, attracting more than 2.5 million visitors.
It is a good experience for the singers-actors-dancers.
As Price said, many young entertainers perform in front of audiences of 350. In Medora, 3,000 people may show up.
However, it is more than just a performance for many in the cast.
Alexis Wollan said her ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½eart just starts racing every summer when she drives Interstate 94 toward Medora and the badlands suddenly appear.
The fifth-year Burning Hills singer said the Medora area is like a dream for her. the scenery. It's the history. It's the people."
*connected by my local church in Morris, MN
-Others National Prayer Rescues Fargo Churches
Letâ€™s Flood the Churches with Prayer!
(Alpha Order by Church Name)
Missing links may be found by Internet searches, or may not exist
Atonement Lutheran Church â€“ Fargo, ND
Barnesville Lutheran Brethren Church â€“ Barnesville, MN
Believers Fellowship â€“ Moorhead, MN
Bethel Evangelical Free Church â€“ Fargo, ND
Bethel Goshen Moravian Church â€“ Leonard, ND
Bethel Lutheran Church â€“ Wahpeton, ND
Bethesda Lutheran Church â€“ Moorhead, MN
Bethlehem Lutheran â€“ Fargo, ND
Bible Baptist â€“ Wahpeton, ND
Brookdale Baptist â€“ Moorhead, MN
Calvary United Methodist â€“ Fargo, ND
Casselton United Methodist â€“ Casselton, ND
Christ the King Lutheran â€“ Moorhead, MN
Church of Christ â€“ Fargo, ND
Community Baptist â€“ Fargo, ND
Community Presbyterian â€“ West Fargo, ND
Eagle Valley Evangelical Free Church â€“ Christine, ND
Edgewood United Methodist â€“ Fargo, ND
Elim Lutheran - Fargo, ND
Faith Lutheran Church â€“ Wolverton, MN
Faith Lutheran Church â€“ West Fargo, ND
Faith United Methodist â€“ Fargo, ND
Fargo Baptist Church â€“ Fargo, ND
Fargo Moravian Church â€“ Fargo, ND First Assembly of God â€“ Fargo, ND
First Congregational â€“ Moorhead, MN
First Lutheran Church â€“ Fargo, ND
First Lutheran Church â€“ Hunter, ND
First United Methodist â€“ Fargo, ND
Free Methodist Church â€“ Fargo, ND
Gethsemane Episcopal Cathedral - Fargo, ND
Glad Tidings Assembly of God â€“ West Fargo, ND
Golden Ridge Lutheran Church â€“ West Fargo, ND
Good News Lutheran â€“ Fargo, ND
Grace United Methodist â€“ Moorhead, MN
Holy Spirit Catholic Church - Fargo, ND Hope Lutheran (North and South Campuses)- Fargo, ND
Immanuel Lutheran â€“ Fargo, ND
Knollbrook Covenant â€“ Fargo, ND
Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd â€“ Moorhead, MN
Messiah Lutheran â€“ Fargo, ND
Metropolitan Baptist â€“ Fargo, ND
Moorhead Church of the Nazarene â€“ Moorhead, MN
Nativity Catholic Church â€“ Fargo, ND
Olivet Lutheran Church - Fargo, ND
Our Redeemer Lutheran â€“ Fargo, ND
Our Saviorâ€™s Lutheran Church â€“ Moorhead, MN
Peace Lutheran Church â€“ Fargo, ND
Plymouth Congregational Church â€“ Fargo, ND
Pontoppidan Lutheran â€“ Fargo, ND
Prairie Heights Community Church - Fargo, ND
Presbyterian First â€“ Fargo, ND
Presbyterian First â€“ Moorhead, MN
Salem Evangelical Free Church â€“ Fargo, ND
Shepherd of the Prairie Moravian Church â€“ Fargo, ND
Shilo Evangelical Free Church â€“ West Fargo, ND
St. Andrew Lutheran â€“ West Fargo, ND
St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church â€“ Fargo, ND
St. John's Episcopal - Moorhead, MN
St. Marks Lutheran â€“ Fargo, ND
St. Maryâ€™s Cathedral Catholic Church â€“ Fargo, ND
St. Paulâ€™s Free Lutheran â€“ Fargo, ND
St. Stephen's Episcopal - Fargo, ND
Temple Baptist â€“ Fargo, ND
Trinity Lutheran Church â€“ Moorhead, MN
Trinity Lutheran Church â€“ Moorhead, MN
Trinity Lutheran Church-Wahpeton, ND
Triumph Lutheran Brethren Church â€“ Moorhead, MN
United Methodist â€“ Fargo, ND
Valley Christian Church â€“ Moorhead
This is a video of a road trip through Fargo-Moorhead on Aug 25th of 2008. I was listening to 97.9 KFNW "K-Love"... http://kfnw.nwc.edu/
Action-Prayer Alert: "Flood of 09'"
"... [popu. 8,586] in southeast North Dakota is the county seat of Richland County and borders neighboring Minnesota city Breckenridge [popu. 3,559], the seat of Wilkin County. Together these two communities boast a daytime population of about 13,000...
"... is a comprehensive, associate degree-granting college founded on a tradition of quality and integrity. We deliver learner-focused education through a unique and evolving collegiate experience. Using innovative delivery strategies, NDSCS anticipates and responds to statewide and regional needs by providing access to occupational/technical programs, transfer programs, and workforce training..."
2009 Wings Over Wahpeton Warbirds
"2009 Wings Over Wahpeton Wahpeton, North Dakota Harry Stern Airport Wednesday, May 6, 2009 An assortment of warbirds open up the flying at Wings over Wahpeton 2009. " 2009 Wings Over Wahpeton A 10 Thunderbolt II West Demonstration, from youtube.com "2009 Wings Over Wahpeton
Wahpeton, North Dakota
Harry Stern Airport
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Watch as the A-10 Thunderbolt II West Coast Demonstration team from Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona flies a thrilling demonstration over Wahpeton. You will notice to begin his demo Major Brown caught me a little off guard, but I was ready for him when he came around again for his dedication pass. "
"A short video of the Man on Fire crew doing our first street evangelism as a team. This event was really difficult to reach people with the gospel, but we planted many seeds. (It was an end of school party at the University of North Dakota) "
HAZELTON, N.D. – A tiny North Dakota town's promise of cash and free land lured only one family from out of state. Now, Michael and Jeanette Tristani and their 12-year-old twins are trying to move from the town without a traffic light back to Miami.
Tired of crime, traffic, hurricanes and the high cost of living in Florida, the Tristanis moved four years ago to Hazelton, a dwindling town of about 240 that has attempted to attract young families to stay on the map.
Michael Tristani, 42, said at the time the 1,800-mile move was "an answer to our prayers."
"We don't have to look over our shoulder to see who's going to rob us, or jump out of the bushes to attack us," Tristani said. "Taxes are low, the cost of living is low and the kids enjoy school."
But the family also found a cliquey community that treated them like outsiders. "For my wife, it's been a culture shock," he said.
Rural communities across the Great Plains, fighting a decades-long population decline, are trying a variety of ways to attract outsiders. But the Tristanis show how the efforts can fail even at a time when many people are desperate.
"It's been quite an experience, 50-50 at best," Tristani said. "It hasn't been easy. No one really wants new people here."
The Hazelton Development Corp., formed by a determined group of citizens, began running ads in 2005 offering families up to two free lots and up to $20,000 toward home purchases. Businesses were offered free lots and up to $50,000 for setting up shop in the town.
Besides cash and free land, Hazelton had little else to offer except elbow room. Surrounded by flat farm land and livestock, the century-old town boasts three churches, a bank, a grain elevator and a bar.
Like many small towns across rural America, the once thriving farming community began shrinking as residents moved on or passed away.
Tom Weiser, one of the city leaders behind the project to lure new residents, said Hazelton had hundreds of inquiries from around the world when the community's proposal made headlines across the country. Several families from other states visited the town but only the Tristanis made the commitment to move.
"Not everybody fits in in a small town," said Weiser, who works as a baker at Wal-Mart in Bismarck, about 45 miles away.
Hay bales, a gas station and a graveyard greet visitors as they roll into Hazelton off the state highway.
Michael Tristani came from his native Florida wearing gold necklaces and a Rolex and driving a Lexus. He proved as foreign as a flamingo in a place where pickups, farm caps and flannel shirts are de rigueur.
"People thought I was a drug dealer," he said.
Tristani said he was prepared for Hazelton's bitter winters — when wind chills can reach 50-degrees below zero and snow drifts are measured in feet — but not the small-town drama.
"People prejudge you without getting to know you," Jeanette Tristani said.
The couple bought a house built by students at an American Indian college in Bismarck. The home was moved to town and put on two lots donated by the city. The Tristanis bought a third lot and were later given $15,000.
Tristani, a former grocery worker, and his wife, a former real estate agent, opened a bistro and coffee shop. But within weeks of moving to the city, the couple petitioned for a restraining order against the owners of another coffee shop. The Tristanis allege one of the owners drove by their house yelling obscenities and threatened to damage the family's new home.
"He appears to be out of control," The Tristanis wrote in court papers. "At times, it's difficult to understand the rest of the words he's using on my family due to his uproar."
Both businesses are now shuttered.
After his bistro failed, Michael Tristani said he began buying old houses in Bismarck, fixing them up and reselling them to earn money. Jeanette, 44, lost her job last year at a call center in nearby Linton when the business failed.
The Tristanis say the family enjoys spending time together and has little to do with the locals. They relish trips to a Wal-Mart in Bismarck.
The couple's home in Hazelton has been on the market since August, though the for-sale sign has been covered with snow for weeks.
School Superintendent Brandt Dick said losing the Tristani twins, a boy and a girl in the seventh grade, would be a blow to the shrinking enrollment.
Dick said there are 72 students enrolled at the local high school, and that the number is expected to fall to 31 in four years.
"We are declining in numbers and will continue to decline unless something changes," he said.
Bev Voller, a member of the nonprofit development group, said the incentives were funded largely through private money, much of it from "an anonymous donor."
But, she says, "the cash thing is over now."
Kim Preston, a spokeswoman for the rural advocacy group Center for Rural Affairs, based in Lyons, Neb., said the offer of free land to lure new residents to wilting towns is a phenomenon that started in the past decade.
But the small communities that have had success are near larger communities, she said.
"For it to work, it needs to be no more than a 30-minute commute," she said.
It's a 45-minute drive from Hazelton to Bismarck — in good weather. And the weather is often bad.
Jeanette said the main reason she wants to move back to the Miami area is to care for her elderly parents. Michael said he couldn't convince his wife's parents to join them in Hazelton.
"The cold weather has them freaked," he said.
Among Biggest Oil Finds in USA - Montana & North Dakota
"WASHINGTON, April 11 (UPI) -- A shale formation under western North Dakota holds the biggest continuous oil deposit in the lower 48 states, the U.S. Geographical Survey has determined.
The Bakken shale formation, 10,000 feet beneath the Williston Basin, holds 4.3 billion barrels of oil, the Thursday report said.
The estimate includes what the USGS believes is recoverable using current technology.
The amount is also close to what a state survey, due April 28, will say is available, North Dakota geologist Ed Murphy told the Bismarck Tribune.
"We're in the same ballpark," Murphy said.
"This is very big news," Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., said during a teleconference with reporters Thursday, the Grand Forks Herald reported.
"I think there's going to be a lot more attention nationally and internationally to this region," Dorgan said."
Visiting the Biggest Boom Town in U.S. Williston, ND June,2010.mp4
"1100 unfilled high paying jobs around Williston, North Dakota, centered within the Bakken Oil fields that include North Dakota to Montana and southern parts of Canada.. You just need a place to live. We can help. Our developer is building 160 homes in a very nice location on the edge of town. Homes priced just below and just above $200,000. Contact Bill Murphy, 970-261-1886 for more information."
"MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The headlines we usually hear from North Dakota’s oil boom are about all of the jobs and the big money to be made. Now, we are hearing about the dark side of the boom.
Tens of thousands of men have moved to western North Dakota to work in the oil boom industry and many are from Minnesota. In just a few years, the state is predicted to be second to Texas in crude production.
They come to Williston, North Dakota to work, in search of a new start to find a solution that stretches for miles, along with a dark side this once small town didn’t see coming.
“This is the wild, wild west and that’s the only way I can describe it to someone who doesn’t know,” said Kelsey Wingate, an oil mechanic.
Nowhere can you see the dynamic better than at one of the city’s strip clubs. Women are such a small minority as men move in, often living states away from their own families. The average oil worker makes $90,000 a year in the boom.
Dancers, like Rachel, come from across the country to cash in. She said on a good night she can make $1,000. Rachel is also concerned for her own safety.
“You do. You need to be careful. You need to be very careful,” Rachel said.
Lily Perkins took precautions. She bought a taser to work late hours at a once-quiet motel that’s just across the border in Montana. It’s now filled with men every night.
“Now when I get in my car I lock my door and I don’t roll the windows down if I don’t have to,” Perkins said.
Perkins grew up in simpler times and can’t help but notice how the news has changed.
“Now, it’s there were 10 vehicles broken into downtown or this lady’s gone missing or these two women got raped last night,” she said.
For the last month, it’s been Sherry Arnold’s story making headlines. The high school teacher went jogging along a busy highway about an hour from Williston. Police said two men driving through looking for work kidnapped and killed her.
“It makes you wonder what else could happen,” Perkins said.
Detective David Peterson of the Williston Police Department considers it a constant game of catch up.
“The Williston Police Department is attempting to serve the community. It’s a large task,” Det. Peterson said.
Half of the policemen within the department are recruits from Minnesota.
In five years, Williston has more than doubled in size. More than 20,000 people live here now and estimates show 35,000 more oil workers live within a few hours of town.
The Williston Police Department is getting more calls in a month now than it used to in a year. They’ve seen a serious spike in violent crime, from a couple of cases a week to a couple of cases a day.
Rape cases are on the rise, the victims both women and men. Officers worked to break up the first prostitution ring they’ve worked in decades. For the first time, police have been forced to prioritize calls.
The city knows it is not a life for everyone and has accepted it will lose some long-term residents but city leaders promise to get through the growing pains.
New businesses here will take advantage of that opportunity in this once buttoned-up town where the oil boom is now considered both a blessing and a curse."
3. YWAM's World Impact Tour
Is a major outreach event in the Fargo/Moorhead area THIS week! The event on Saturday is focused on youth (should any of our youth want to take part), but any event should be quality!
Events take place in Scheels Arena on the corner of 45th St S & 32nd Ave S (take the 32nd St exit of I29).
Oct 6th, Thursday evening, 7:00 p.m. -- Team Xtreme -- Scheels Arena
Impact World Tour
Total of 397 people responded to Jesus during 3 nights of events at Scheels Arena. Their lives are changed forever!
Island Breeze Impact World Tour
8,000 seeds of truth planted. 1500 recorded responses. Fargo tour was amazing.
More information here:
DIRECTIONS: Scheels Arena 5225 31st Ave South (between Veterans Blvd & 45th St. S. -south of I-94 entrance ramps=>West of downtown & north of 32nd Ave. S.)
Fargo, ND 58104
-from Morris, Minnesota:
head north on HWY 9 toward Donnelly & stay on Hwy 9 until north of Tintah before you get to Breckenridge
turn left at the intersection with Hwy 55, continue to I29
turn right on I29 and continue to West Fargo, 32nd Ave S exit
turn left on 32nd Ave, & just beyond 45th Ave S you will come to Scheels Arena -- it is a large stadium
Fargo Stage Setup
"derives its name from the Native American name Miniwaukan. Early explorers incorrectly translated the word to mean "Bad Spirit" and bolstered by the many legends of drowned warriors and lake monsters. The name evolved into Devils Lake. Devils Lake is the largest natural body of water in North Dakota. Devils Lake covers more than 100,000 acres and has hundreds of miles of shoreline. This very fertile prairie lake grows large numbers of Walleye, Northern Pike, White Bass and it has earned the reputation of being the "Perch Capital of the World." .."
"On May 3, 2010 Senator Conrad, Senator Dorgan, and Congressman Pomeroy invited key Federal Officials to Devils Lake, ND to hear the voices and concerns of people within the region. Since 1993, the lake has risen nearly 29 feet. In surface area, it has grown by over 100,000 acres displacing homes, businesses, and farms. The meeting was to substantially heighten awareness of the situation with the intention of finding a solution to the severe problems faced within the region and downstream. This video depicts local and regional leaders describing the situation."
"DEVILS LAKE, N.D. – It's been called a slow-growing monster: a huge lake that has steadily expanded over the last 20 years, swallowing up thousands of acres, hundreds of buildings and at least two towns in its rising waters.
Devils Lake keeps getting larger because it has no natural river or stream to carry away excess rain and snowmelt. Now it has climbed within 6 feet of overflowing, raising fears that some downstream communities could be washed away if the water level isn't reduced.
And those worries are compounded by another problem: Scientists believe the pattern of heavy rain and snow that filled the basin is likely to continue for at least another decade...."
Thou Shalt Not Steal the Ten Commandments - Ministry Videos
"In 2003, a Ten Commandments monument was removed from a Supreme Court building in Alabama. A similar incident was about to happen in North Dakota until pubilc pressure resulted in a reversed decision by the Fargo City Commission.
FYI...In a statement made to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia in 1778, James Madison (the chief architect of the Constitution) said, "We've staked the whole future of American civilization not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." It's also worth noting that in 1812, President Madison signed a federal bill which economically aided the Bible Society of Philadelphia in its goal of the mass distribution of the Bible. So much for the myth of "separation of church and state" being part of the Constitution."
"..After initially offering no comment on the report, North Dakota officials admitted to having a stockpile of 1,710 warheads at two military sites and confirmed that the state has been home to an active nuclear-weapons-development program for decades.
Blix called the revelation a "terrifying prospect for the world at large."
Within hours of the announcement, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged North Dakota to abandon its program. ..
.."North Dakota, still in its cultural infancy, cannot be trusted to responsibly handle weapons of mass destruction," French President Jacques Chirac said. "We are talking about a place that doesn't even have a Thai restaurant or movie theater that shows foreign films, but still they have the resources to build thousands of warheads. Do not believe their claims of being 'The Peace Garden State...'"
.."The South Dakotans, while a simple people themselves, are friendly, hospitable, and far more in touch with the outside world," Chirac said. "Many people, myself included, have passed through and seen the Badlands and Mount Rushmore. North Dakota, on the other hand, is a bleak, racially homogeneous state that few people ever enter or exit...."
...According to Blix, North Dakota is home to 500 Minuteman III ICBMs and 50 Peacekeeper missiles, giving it one of the heaviest concentrations of the weapons on earth. The biggest discovery made by U.N. inspectors, Blix said, was a missile field at Minot Air Force Base, where they found an "almost unbelievable" stockpile of warheads."
"North Dakota is the most rural of all the states, with farms covering more than 90% of the land. North Dakota ranks first in the nation's production of spring and durum wheat; other agricultural products include barley, rye, sunflowers, dry edible beans, honey, oats, flaxseed, sugar beets, hay, beef cattle, sheep, and hogs."
"FARGO, N.D. -- The Red River neared its spring flooding peak on Saturday, approaching historic highs yet short of the levels that might have cracked the defenses of a city used to dealing with high water.
The National Weather Service said the river appeared to be leveling off as it approached 39 feet. The weather service refined its crest projection to 39 feet by Saturday night, the low end of a range that earlier had been as much as 40 feet, and said up to an inch of rain in the weekend forecast wasn't expected to change the crest.
Both Fargo and neighboring Moorhead, Minn., with a combined population of nearly 200,000, have permanent and temporary dikes and levees to at least 41 feet. The Red's high water was expected to linger late into the week, so closely watching those protections was essential, officials said.
"Things can change," said Col. Michael Price, commander of the Army Corps of Engineers' district office in St. Paul, Minn.
Mayor Dennis Walaker, a former public works director and veteran of several flood fights, said he didn't think the Red would break 39 feet.
The Red River Valley has had three straight years of major flooding...
"...Still, officials warned residents to monitor their sandbag dikes and prepare for high water to linger into next week. One north Fargo resident, Kevin Pladson, was in his back yard Saturday pumping water that seeped into a low spot near his sandbag dike. Most of his neighbors were nowhere to be seen.
"I hope we don’t get too casual about it because anything can happen at any time,” Pladson said. “This is still one of the highest river levels of all time and that still makes me a little nervous."
Edna Holm, who lives in a south Fargo neighborhood the city is trying to remove from the flood plain, said it didn’t look like the river would reach their sandbags.
"In a sense, you’re relieved. We're just trying to get back into the swing of things," Holm said...
Fargo Flood March 18 2010
"A view looking west from a parking ramp in downtown Moorhead into downtown Fargo. At this point (March 18th 2010) the river was at 33 feet, or 15 feet above flood stage, and still has another 5 feet to rise. "
"..(March 19) -- Flooding is occurring -- and will continue to occur -- along rivers and streams in the Dakotas and Minnesota in the coming days and perhaps weeks because of the inevitable melting of a deep snowpack.
Unfortunately, there is no way around that. However, the weather will cooperate for at least a week or so in terms of lack of new precipitation and the arrival of some colder weather. It's not a perfect scenario, though.
One significant storm will pass to the south today, and a weaker storm will pass to the north on Saturday, neither one bringing any noteworthy precipitation to the Dakotas or Minnesota.
A third storm will most likely bring some rain and snow early next week -- most likely on Tuesday. But precipitation amounts will generally be light -- too light to have a serious impact.
Melting snow, of course, is the biggest problem, and a trend toward colder weather will help. Daytime temperatures will remain above freezing, but nighttime temperatures will drop below freezing. The colder nights will stop the melting process for at least a few hours each day, reducing the amount of water being added to the rivers. One of the factors contributing to the quick onset of the flooding this month was a string of nights when temperatures remained above freezing. This resulted in a nonstop influx of water into the rising rivers. ..
"Fargo, North Dakota (CNN) -- Officials in North Dakota and Minnesota are catching their breath Monday, if only briefly, after the Red River crested over the weekend.
Despite the river peaking at 36.99 feet -- 19 feet above flood level -- Sunday morning, the region will have to contend with high water for a while.
"It'll be about a week, so we're just going to continue to monitor things and kind of wait as that water very, very slowly goes down," said Robyn Litke, spokeswoman for Fargo, North Dakota.
"We are just continuing to maintain our dikes and just continuing the dike patrols. It is expected that we will stay well above major the major flood stage of 30 feet for about the next week or maybe a little bit longer."
Overall, the situation in Fargo looked good, Mayor Dennis Walaker said Sunday.
"We're standing tall," Walaker said. "We have to stand tall for a few more days."...
Last year, the Red River crested at nearly 41 feet -- a record and about 4 feet higher than this year's level.
Water surrounded some homes near the river in Fargo, where 700,000 sandbags guarded the city from creeping waters. At least 10 people have been rescued from floodwaters in the area since Friday, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Moorhead also was on alert, and the city was advising residents to monitor sandbag dikes. Between Moorhead and Fargo, more than 1 million sandbags were stacked to defend against the river's rise.
Between Saturday night and Sunday morning, teams in Cass County, North Dakota -- which includes Fargo -- rushed to three locations to reinforce sandbag dikes, said Capt. Grant Larson of the North Dakota Air National Guard. He said that 1,000 sandbags were stacked around a home threatened by flooding Sunday morning....
"FARGO, N.D. (AP) â€•
Fargo was back in business Wednesday, as shops reopened and residents returned to work amid signs that the retreating Red River had spared the city.
There were dark reminders, however, that not everyone escaped damage.
Across the river in Moorhead, Minn., Roger Degerman snapped on rubber gloves and hauled away couches, toys and carpeting after water came up through the sewers and wiped out his basement. He estimated the damage would soar above his $10,000 flood insurance policy.
"You go through every emotion. You're speechless, you say things you shouldn't say, you laugh, you cry. Then you're grateful," he said. "We lost the basement. The neighbors across the street lost their home. The reality of all this will not sink in for awhile."
But there was a growing sense the region had dodged a major disaster.
Businesses in both cities reopened and Fargo streets were packed with vehicles as the Red River dropped further below the sandbags and the top of the permanent floodwalls. Officials began scaling back their flood response, and schools prepared to resume Monday.
"Our word for the day is restore and recharge," Mayor Dennis Walaker said.
Fargo also began looking ahead to the enormous effort of removing the roughly 3 million sandbags stacked atop the dikes. Walaker said the job would begin soon.
"We don't want them sitting in their living room watching the National Guard doing this," he said. "We can't do that. People don't understand how many bags are out there."
Fargo also wants to work with state and federal officials to come up with a long-term flood plan. "It's something that we want to get done as quickly as possible," the mayor said.
City officials insist they'll breathe easier when the river falls to 36 or 37 feet or lower. By mid-afternoon Wednesday, it was down to 36.98 feet -- far above flood stage but below the top of the floodwalls, which are topped with 5 feet of sandbags.
Forecasters say the river could rise again when more snow melts. But even future crests aren't expected to approach the levels feared during the past weekend, when the river reached a record 40.82 feet early Saturday.
In areas south of Fargo, Cass County officials had begun assessing the damage in neighborhoods where about 50 homes were protected only by individual rings of sandbags. County engineer Keith Berndt said some of the dikes were more sophisticated than others, and so far about half of the homes appeared to have damage ranging from sewage backup to flooded basements to water on the main floor. Others, he said, were dry.
"I'm amazed that some of the homes didn't get wet," he said. "Some of those people went up against unbelievable odds."
Some of the hardest hit communities were in rural areas outside the flood protection system.
In Oxbow, N.D., a Cass County subdivision jammed up against the Red River's banks, 66-year-old Bob Liebelt spent Wednesday pumping 10 feet of water from the basement of the "dream house" he bought with his wife three years ago.
Floodwaters that burst through a basement window ruined two bedrooms, a bathroom and game rooms. Soggy mattresses and leather chairs were left piled atop one another by the receding flood waters. Floating in the remaining murky stew of sewage and river water were several shampoo bottles, an empty bottle of gin and a dead mouse.
"You build the dikes and man the pumps -- and then you still lose," said Liebelt, who'd spent 48 hours fighting the flood before evacuating. "I'd move in a heartbeat if they offered to buy me out."
In Moorhead and much of surrounding Clay County, city leaders and residents moved from flood-emergency to flood-recovery mode. The city lifted most of the remaining recommended evacuations, leaving only a small area on the north side under such a warning.
Tammy McRae walked into her Moorhead home for the first time and paused in the kitchen, overwhelmed by the prospect of cleaning out the two bottom floors of her four-level home, which filled with water and river silt.
Just yards away, the river flowed past the 5-foot dike they'd built, just as they had three other times when water threatened their home in the last 12 years.
This time, she said, they lost.
"We couldn't keep up," she said. "It was just coming too fast."
The family has no insurance. The house is paid off, but it represents the family's savings, she said.
"We just got to do it," she said. "Got to fix her up. This house is what we've got." Compelling aerial imagery of Red River , from weather.com "..Red River flood-swollen vs. normal stage: A side-by-side comparison of the Red River as it flows south to north between the cities of Fargo, North Dakota, and Moorhead, Minnesota.
Due to different photo scales, images are not an exact mirror but they still provide an incredible visual of the extent of the flooding along the Red River in Fargo and Moorhead.
Aside from the presence of the river, the first thing that may grab your attention is difference in color between the two images. The image on the right is not black and white photo but is displaying the snowpack that is blanketing the two cities.
The boxed and circled region are two prominent areas where the flood waters have completely drowned out the lowland. Meanwhile, just look at the width of the river. Incredible difference in width between the normal and flood stage.
Overall this gives you an idea of what the townspeople of Fargo and Moorhead were up against. Although the worst is behind them for now, a new high crest is possible some time in April..."
"The Red River on Tuesday dropped to a level below most of Fargo's sandbag levees, taking some pressure off the makeshift floodwalls as engineers and National Guard troops watched for signs of leaks during a blinding snowstorm.
The river fell to 37.98 feet, an important threshold because the city's permanent levee system is built to about 38 feet in most spots, with temporary sandbags piled up to 43 feet.
Still, forecasters believe the river will eventually begin rising again after more snow begins to melt, so they do not believe the city is in the clear yet....
Fargo got some good news Tuesday when the snowstorm failed to kick up large waves against the levees -- something that forecasters had been expecting. Winds rose to 30 mph in some parts, but not enough to make major waves.
"Wave action right now looks pretty small," said Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Frank Worley. "The wind is blowing, the snow is blowing, but we're not looking at 1-foot waves or anything like that."
*I didn't have to go to work today because of the "heavy" snow-storm (3" only, which was less than what was forecasted-12-15 inches)
"PHOENIX, ARIZONA (ANS) -- Christian churches, ministries and individuals from around the nation are praying for one of the many churches in and around the flooded Fargo-Moorhead area in the Upper Midwest.
"A Ready Church knows that prayer is an essential response and recovery tool. Learn more about how your church can be ready. Will you join them?" asks Mary Marr, Chairman and Founder of Christian Emergency Network (CEN).
"The Fargo area churches are sheltering their displaced families, providing food, sandbagging, conducting 24-hour dike and pump watches, assisting neighbors, sharing the gospel, caring for children out of school now for 2 weeks...all the while anticipating massive clean-up efforts in the days and weeks ahead," said Marr.
"Though many response and recovery groups are headed to help Fargo, the Christian citizens themselves are doing a mighty work with God's help, many as part of their churchâ€™s disaster response efforts," she said.
Marr is asking readers of ASSIST News to help lift them up with your prayers.
"Choose a church from the link below and pray for their needs. Locate their websites when possible for specific needsâ€¦even contact them telling them where you are from and you are praying on behalf of the Christian Emergency Network. Know that some churches are or yet may be lost or damaged by the flood water,â€ said Marr.
CEN is looking forward to hearing back from you and the churches about what God does through this unified prayer response.
"Reply back to us at Christian Emergency Network to tell us what church you prayed forâ€¦or to tell us of another church not already on the list below."
She is asking ASSIST News readers to please forward this story to someone else around the country to invite their participation.
"God chooses His Church to be His hands and feet. May God bless you for getting involved and for â€˜beingâ€™ the Church through Fargo's 2009 season of disaster."
Click here for a list of Fargo-Moorhead area churches: www.christianemergencynetwork.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=501&Itemid=225&utm_source=CEN+Newsletter&utm_campaign=e306e2f9bd-National_Prayer_Rescues_Fargo_Churches3_30_2009&utm_medium=email
Mary Marr is Chairman and Founder of Christian Emergency Network, which was founded after 9/11 with several national ministry leaders and now has over 7,000 ministry, church and media organizations who partner to Pray-Care-Share the Hope of Christ together...before, during and after national disasters.
To learn more about how you or your Christian organization may partner with CEN go to www.christianemergencynetwork.org ."
"FARGO, N.D. (AP) â€•
A person walks through falling snow March 30, 2009, in downtown Fargo, N.D. Fargo and the surrounding area are expecting a storm Monday that could bring up to 14 inches of snow and winds that could worsen the flooding.
A blizzard battered North Dakota on Monday, threatening to create wind-whipped waves that could lash the patchwork levee system that has shielded much of Fargo from the swollen Red River.
Engineers scrambled to shore up the dikes in hopes of averting the latest potential disaster nature has inflicted on this beleaguered city.
The winter storm was expected to bring up to a foot of snow and 30 mph winds that could weaken the levees with big waves. Officials acknowledged that no one knows whether the levees will withstand the punishment.
"The difficulty with an epic flood is nobody has been through it before," city Commissioner Tim Mahoney said. "You can't ask someone, 'Hey, what's going to happen next?"'
The Red River dropped to 38.80 feet Monday, nearly 2 feet below its peak but nearly 21 feet above flood stage. City officials have said they would breathe easier when the river falls to 36 or 37 feet or lower.
Authorities were not especially worried about the snowfall because flood levels will have dropped by the time it melts. But forecasters have warned all along that the river could still rise again. They believe the river could drop 2 more feet in the coming days before inching upward again.
Some residents in the Fargo area said that Monday's snowstorm amounted to a kick in the gut after a grueling week of filling sandbags and fortifying their homes against flooding, which was caused by heavier-than-average winter snows, combined with spring rains and an early freeze last fall that locked a lot of moisture into the soil.
"You kind of feel like it's a Bruce Willis film with the next challenge, next challenge, next challenge," Mahoney said.
Engineers are still worried that the levees could give way at any time, and they sent teams out to vulnerable areas Monday to strengthen the system. National Guard members placed sheets of plastic over the levees to shield them against waves.
Corps engineer Tim Bertschi said when water pressure gets strong enough, the sandbags can begin to shift, a weakness that surging water will quickly exploit.
Another potential problem is posed by large chunks of ice in the river's currents. When those chunks hit a levee, they can speed its erosion or punch holes in the plastic sheeting. Once water gets in, a levee becomes much more susceptible to failure.
"Anything you are going to build, you've got to suspect it's going to fail at one time or another," said Bill Buckler, an associate professor of geography at Youngstown State University in Ohio.
National Guardsmen Brandon Nelson and Cody Renner shuffled along a Fargo dike just south of downtown on Monday, headed toward their assignment for the day: Monitor a small crack in an earthen dike. Should the crack in the dike go unmonitored and widen significantly, it could put the heart of Fargo at risk of flooding.
So they checked the crack every 15 minutes, measuring its depth and prepared to notify the Army Corps of Engineers if it grew. Corps officials stood at the ready in a nearby parking lot.
As the city waited for the storm, schools and many businesses were closed for a second week, meaning thousands of people are not drawing paychecks and are eager to get back to work.
The blizzard "just makes everything miserable. People here are expecting anything now," said Dick Schafer, a high school counselor who was using a shovel to break ice off his driveway as heavy, wet flakes fell.
Fargo's massive sandbagging began winding down after an around-the-clock volunteer effort. Fargo filled 3.5 million sandbags, and has an inventory of 450,000.
Officials in Fargo and Moorhead say they have limited the damage to a small number of homes within Fargo's city limits, but they have had to rescue about 300 people by boat, and several outlying rural areas have seen significant flooding." Will the Sandbags Hold?, from weather.com
"FARGO, N.D. (AP) â€•
Weary residents of this sandbagged city came together in churches Sunday, counting their blessings that the Red River finally stopped rising and praying the levees would hold back its wrath. A brief levee break that swamped a school provided a warning of the kind of threat that still hangs over them in the days ahead.
Church services that are a staple of life on Sunday mornings in Fargo took on greater significance as people gathered after a week of round-the clock sandbagging. They sang hymns and held hands, asking together for divine help in avoiding disaster.
"At a time like this, we need to call on God's providential assistance," said the Rev. Bob Ona, pastor of Fargo's First Assembly of God church. "All of you have been heroic in your efforts. All of you have been pushed past the wall of weariness, exhaustion and numerous frustrations in order to do the right thing -- help people in the name of the Lord."
The Red River continued its slow retreat Sunday after cresting a day earlier, dropping below record level to 39.88 feet. City officials have said they would breathe easier when the river falls to 37 feet or lower, expected by Saturday, meaning a lengthy test for sandbag levees that residents hastily constructed last week.
Fargo faces another test this week as a storm approached with up to a half-foot of snow and powerful wind gusts that could send ferocious waves crashing into and over the already-stressed levees.
The sandbag effort resumed Sunday as helicopters began dropping 11 one-ton sandbags into the river to deflect its violent current and keep it from eroding vulnerable areas of the dike system....
Triumph Lutheran Brethren Church held its Sunday services at a Ramada hotel to accommodate all the people from other churches that canceled worship because of the flood. They pared down the service -- no high-tech PowerPoint presentations, no food, no Sunday school. "Just prayer, some old hymns everybody knows, and being together," said church member Tami Crist.
"We can sit back and know that we've done what we can do. Now God's going to do what he can do," she said.
The pastor at the Assemblies of God church said now was the time to turn to spirituality for hope and not obsess about material possessions. After a week in which the church used its buses to shuttle people to feverish sandbagging efforts, Ona told the congregation that "we have done everything we can do, humanly speaking."
"We don't feel we deserve any awards or plaques for what we did," he added. "We are a church. This is what we do."
" FARGO, North Dakota (CNN) -- The Red River began to recede Sunday after rising to record levels, but officials cautioned residents not to let their guard down, especially in the face of an approaching snowstorm.
A makeshift levee protects a house Sunday in Moorhead, Minnesota.
"We are very confident now that [the] river is in a slow decline," National Weather Service meteorologist Greg Gust said. "Hopefully, it will be at about 38 feet by next Sunday."
At 2:15 p.m. Sunday, the river at Fargo was at 39.93 feet, lower than its early Saturday peak of 40.82 feet and below the previous record of 40.10 feet set in 1897, according to the weather service. River levels were expected to stay below 41 feet and slowly drop over the next three to seven days, the weather service said....
"...Fargo-Moorhead officials said they had planned on filling 1.5 million sandbags in one week, but actually accomplished filling 3 million bags with sand in one week.
Reports indicate the Red River, which flows from south to north along the Minnesota-North Dakota border, has now probably reached its flood peak, and major sandbagging operations have been suspended with the focus now being on monitoring the dikes for leaks.
Officials say the Red probably crested at an all-time high of 41 feet about Midnight Friday and may even have started receding in some places. ...
"We are thankful that the cooler temperatures are slowing the snow melt. We are calm and taking it as it comes. If we need to evacuate we will. If we do evacuate, it wonâ€™t be the first time, and so we will kind of know what to expect. We canâ€™t control the floodwaters of the Red River, but we do know that God is in control."
"FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- Two deaths are being reported related to flooding along the Red River in North Dakota.
The state's Department of Health says two cardiac-related deaths have been reported due to flood prevention exertion.
The department also said Saturday that 50 flood-related injuries have been reported statewide. Those injuries range from wrist and ankle stress to serious car accidents related to washed out roads.
Residents in Fargo along the Red River have been feverishly filling sandbags to help hold back the rising water. National Weather Service officials said Saturday that the river may have crested, but it still could rise up to a foot more.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
"...The mighty Red, swollen to nearly three times its normal size, toppled part of a sandbag dike and started rushing into Korsmo's upper-middle-class, south Moorhead neighborhood....
"We lost three but saved six," said Mark Windshitl, assistant chief of an area fire department, surveying the scene from atop an earthen dike. Water was up to the main level of three houses, and a 7-foot high dike was on the southern edge of the third....
In Moorhead, city officials issued a voluntary evacuation order for about 2,660 households -- about 20 percent of the city -- although they said fewer than a dozen homes had flooded. Across the river in Fargo, N.D., the mayor asked residents who mostly stayed put to help monitor the dikes.
The scene in Korsmo's neighborhood showed residents just why they needed to stay vigilant.
"It was us against the river," said Korsmo's nephew Paul Frith. With just a handful of helpers, not enough sandbags and water up to mid-calf, he was doubtful the dike could be built in time to save his uncle's house and others down the street..."
"FARGO, N.D. â€“ The bloated Red River might already have crested lower than initially feared, forecasters said Saturday, welcome news for weary residents and others who had spent days piling sandbags onto dikes against a feared record flood.
Despite the downward revision in the forecast, however, North Dakota officials still intensified their efforts to fend off the high water, deploying high-tech Predator drone aircraft, calling up more National Guard troops and asking residents to be on the lookout for breaches in levees.
Thousands of residents had left their homes.
Officials also cautioned that the city still wasn't out of the woods because the river is expected to stay more than 20 feet above flood stage for several days, testing the strength and integrity of the hastily assembled dikes.
Mike Hudson of the weather service said the Red River may already have reached its high point around midnight at 40.82 feet. As of 8 a.m. it had dropped to around 40.69 feet. But the river can still fluctuate up to a foot, given that ice floes affect the flow of the river and could lead to periodic rises.
The weather service earlier had said the Red River could crest as high as 43 feet, likely on Sunday. But forecasters put out an alert Saturday saying the river is expected to remain below 41 feet and to slowly abate.
"The best news we can take from this is the river has crested," Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker said.
"But diligence is going to have to be required for at least eight more days and hopefully things will continue to drop," he added. "The only thing that would change all that optimism would be to have a significant storm that could change that. I'm optimistic."
The improved situation is a result of the frigid weather: Cold temperatures froze the water that would have flowed into the river, halting its rise, said Hudson. By the time that water thaws, the biggest flooding threat should have passed, he said.
Forecasters acknowledged that the situation could still take a turn for the worse, with a storm predicted to strike early next week with more snow.
No major levee breaches or other issues were reported during the night.
Officials said they were increasing the number of guard troops from 1,700 to 1,850 and bringing in 300 large bags that hold a ton of sand and could be dropped by helicopter into breaks in the levees.
Predator drones from the Grand Forks Air Force Base began flying overhead Saturday morning, providing officials bird's-eye views of the situation and allowing them to react quickly if flooding worsens.
"They will be up there for 10 hours today providing video of the flood situation," North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven said in an interview with The Associated Press.
President Barack Obama assured the nation Saturday he was keeping close watch on the floods and putting the government's full weight behind efforts to prevent disaster.
"Even as we face an economic crisis which demands our constant focus, forces of nature can also intervene in ways that create other crises to which we must respond â€” and respond urgently," the president said in his weekly radio and Internet address.
Across the river, the city of Moorhead, Minn., also was dealing with the threat of heavy flooding. Thousands of people had evacuated the city of 30,000, although others have stayed behind.
"Right now we're confident, but if the dikes break we'll have people standing on their roofs," said Clay County, Minn., Sheriff Bill Bergquist.
Officials in Fargo, a city of 92,000 people, said Saturday they didn't immediately need any more volunteers.
"Now it's time to stand and defend," said Tim Mahoney, a Fargo city commissioner.
Volunteers had piled sandbags on top of miles of snow-covered dikes, with the frigid weather freezing the bags solid as they worked.
Hundreds more Guard troops poured in from around the state and neighboring South Dakota, along with scores of American Red Cross workers from as far away as Modesto, Calif. Homeowners, students and small armies of other volunteers filled sandbags. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said Saturday his state's National Guard was sending two C-130 aircraft with at least 34 troops to help.
"It's to the point now where I think we've done everything we can," said Fargo resident Dave Davis, whose neighborhood was filled with backhoes and tractors building an earthen levee. "The only thing now is divine intervention."
Federal officials were prepared to shelter and feed 30,000 people for a week, said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. More people than that may be evacuated, but she said officials expect most people would seek help through friends and family first. She said the Coast Guard had participated in 82 rescues by Friday.
Fargo escaped devastation from flooding in 1997, when Grand Forks was ravaged by a historic flood 70 miles to the north. This year, the river has been swollen by heavier-than-average winter snow, combined with an early freeze last fall that locked a lot of moisture into the soil. The threat has been made worse by spring rain.
"I think the river is mad that she lost the last time," said engineer Mike Buerkley, managing a smile through his dark stubble as he tossed sandbags onto his pickup truck after working 29 straight hours. "
"OAKPORT TOWNSHIP, Minn. (AP) - A house has caught fire in a township north of Moorhead so overrun with floodwaters that firefighters cannot reach the blaze.
Clay County Emergency Operations Center spokesman Dan Olson said fire crews couldn't get closer than 200 feet from the home in Oakport Township because the area around it was so flooded.
The cause of the fire isn't known, but township administrator Greg Anderson is telling residents who are evacuating to shut off gas and electricity before leaving their homes.
There was no word of any injuries.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)"
"FARGO, N.D. â€“ The rising Red River broke a 112-year record early Friday and threatened the dikes fortifying the city, but the mayor pledged to "go down swinging" as he called for more evacuations and additional National Guard troops to prevent a devastating flood. Across the river in Moorhead, Minn., city officials asked about one-third of the households in the town of about 35,000 to voluntarily evacuate because of the flooding threat.
The river swelled to 40.32 feet â€” more than 22 feet above flood stage and inches more than the previous high water mark of 40.1 feet set in 1897. The National Weather Service said it could crest as high as 43 feet on Saturday. Fargo's main dike protects the city at the 43-foot level.
Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker says the city has no plans to build the dike any higher. He says officials believe the Red River will crest at between 41.5 and 42 feet, and there wasn't time to raise the dike again.
"We're not going to proceed to take it to 44. Is that a gamble? We don't think so," Walaker said.
Walaker says they are adding 800 members of the guard from North Dakota and South Dakota to patrol dikes for breaches, on top of the 900 troops already in place. They worked in harsh conditions, with scattered flurries and wind chills below zero for most of the morning..."
"Fargo-Moorhead is putting out the call to volunteers again in order to raise their dikes to 43 feet -- high enough to keep a record crest from the Red River at bay.
The National Weather Service now projects the Red River to crest in Fargo at a record 41 feet by early Saturday afternoon, so authorities there are scrambling again to add another foot to the top of the dikes protecting the city.
They intend to raise the dikes one foot higher than the expected crest.
The river had risen to 35.6 feet by midday Wednesday. The record for Fargo is 39.6 feet set in the 1997 flood.
Meanwhile, south of Fargo, the Cass County Sheriff's department has rescued nine people by hovercraft, including one from a tree.
A sergeant with the department says a first rescue took place just after 3:30am Tuesday after the dike failed at the Oxbow Community, an upscale development just south of Fargo. As of late morning, three or four additional rescues were underway.
Residents say floodwaters have filled some basements in the development, and are beginning to swamp main floors. Snow and freezing temps have frozen cars solid, leaving residents unable to drive out. Cass County Sheriff's deputies and the Water-Dive team are on the scene with airboats...
"A major winter storm raised flood fears for Bismarck on the Missouri River on Tuesday, even as communities 200 miles to the east along the Red River fought to hold back rising waters there.
Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., called Bismarck "the most urgent threat" in North Dakota because of ice jams north and south of town and heavy snow forecast.
The Army Corps of Engineers cut water releases Tuesday from the Garrison Dam, about 50 miles upriver from Bismarck. The city also ordered the evacuation of homes along the river where access roads were under water in the middle of the spring blizzard. It wasn't immediately clear how many homes.
Authorities also transferred 146 inmates from the Missouri River Correctional Center, a minimum-security prison along the Missouri River, to the main state penitentiary. Deputy warden Patrick Branson said the river was close enough that officials "felt we had to get all those guys out of there."
The National Weather Service forecast 8 to 14 inches of snow for much of central and western North Dakota, including Bismarck, with up to 20 inches in some spots.
Meanwhile, the Red River approached a lower-than-expected crest Tuesday in Wahpeton, but the National Weather Service only tweaked its projections for a record crest 30 miles downstream in Fargo, where sandbaggers were working furiously to raise the city's protective dikes high enough.
In Crookston, Minn., about 50 miles northeast of Fargo, ice jams caused a sudden rise on the Red Lake River and led city officials to ask about 200 people in low-lying areas to voluntarily evacuate. The city was working to raise its flood protection to withstand the river's crest later this week.
The corps said the river in Bismarck jumped 2 feet since Monday, to 15 feet, just a foot below flood stage. But it said it would take about two days for the Garrison Dam action to benefit the Bismarck area....
At Wahpeton and Breckenridge, Minn., the Red was at 17.5 feet, up only slightly since midnight.
Darcie Huwe, Wahpeton's finance director and interim city coordinator, said the Red River had been expected to crest there at 19.5 feet after heavy rains Sunday night, which would have broken the record 19.4 feet in the devastating floods of 1997. But the rains let up Monday, and things were looking up by Tuesday.
"Actually looking down," she joked. "We did not hit the predicted record crest, to the big relief of all of us. ... We woke up this morning and there were stars in the sky instead of clouds and lightning."
However, Wahpeton got a little scare Tuesday evening when officials doing routine checks found a small weak spot in one of the dikes. Huwe said water was weeping slightly into a retention pond, so officials strengthened the area with clay and sandbags.
"We took it very seriously," she said, adding that officials were remaining vigilant."
2009 Flood Effort in Fargo, ND
"Trucks hauling in dirt to build dike for the 2009 Flood Effort in Fargo, ND. "
"...City officials originally planned to fill more than 1 million sandbags but now believe they need nearly 1.9 million bags to protect neighborhoods that would be affected by the new projections. About 400,000 to 500,000 bags must be filled each day to reach the goal by the end of the week, officials said.
The Minnesota National Guard said Sunday that more than 200 soldiers would be heading to the Red River Valley to help with the flood fight. The North Dakota National Guard said about 250 members were ready.
Even so, Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker asked for help from residents as rain began falling Sunday outside City Hall.
"What we want to do is avoid any kind of chaos," Walaker said. "This is a system where everybody works very hard to provide organization to this process."
Across the river, Moorhead Mayor Mark Voxland said he did not think the two cities were ready for a flood that could top the record crest of 39.6 feet in 1997.
Laney said 25 inmates from the Cass County jail would be filling sandbags overnight, and Fargo high school students were being released if they wanted to help. The North Dakota State football team signed up to fill bags.
Sandbags were being placed in garages Sunday night to prevent freezing in particularly vulnerable neighborhoods where about 700 homes needed protection, Walaker said.
"You can't place frozen sandbags. They're just like rocks, and they leak like sieves," Walaker said.
Officials also said a dike protecting downtown Fargo was being raised to about 43 feet and an emergency levee south of the city was being completed. They said 80 percent of the work had been complete.
City officials said they planned to issue calls to residents to help with diking in nearby areas.
In Grand Forks, forecasters predicted the river would rise above its 28-foot flood stage to about 50 feet by next Sunday and could reach more than 52 feet over the next week. Grand Forks officials have said they were confident the dike system built after the 1997 flood disaster would protect the city.
The Army Corps of Engineers said it has issued more than 600,000 sandbags to counties and cities in North Dakota and Minnesota.
"FARGO - The Red River, with residents racing against time to build dikes and sandbag to protect cities and homes throughout the region, is now expected to crest a full day earlier than previous predictions.
"They really need to take this serious," said Greg Anderson, president of Oakport Township north of Moorhead, as he scrambled to brace for rising river levels.
Anderson didn't have much time to chat, but said the new crest prediction is serious.
Oakport Township residents are encouraged to attend a meeting at 7 tonight at the township meeting hall, 1401 28th Ave. N.
The city of Fargo also put out an urgent call for sandbag volunteers to help as a strong weather system bears down on the region. Up to an inch of rain could fall in Fargo tonight.
The latest crest predictions by the weather service show the Red River is expected to surpass the 1997 flood level by 7 p.m. Thursday. The National Weather Service in Grand Forks, N.D., says the river in Fargo is expected to reach 39.7 feet then, topping the 39.57-foot level in 1997.
The river is expected to continue rising, reaching 40 feet at 1 a.m. Friday. The river could stay at the level for several days, and multiple crests could happen, the weather service said.
Previous predictions showed the city had a 50-50 chance of reaching 40 feet between Saturday and April 1.
A warning on the weather service's Web site about the pending storm says:
"This is a very dynamic system, and will have a significant impact to the weather across our region. The amount of rain, the intensity at which this rain falls, the areal coverage and how much of it turns to snow, will all impact the developing flood. Rain falling on the frozen, snow covered ground of the Sheyenne River Valley will run off very quickly; where the snow has melted but the ground, ditches and drainage systems are all still frozen, expect overland flooding to develop."
*see pics I took back in 1997 at Crookston
Red River Flood of 1997: KARE-TV News April 20, 1997 (part1)
"News coverage from KARE-TV in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN on April 20, 1997, one day after floodwaters devastated Grand Forks, ND and East Grand Forks, MN and a fire broke out in downtown Grand Forks..." Grand Forks The Flood of 1997 - Part 1, from youtube.com
Red River Flood of 1997: April 15 in Fargo/Moorhead
"April 15, 1997 was a busy day in the Fargo, North Dakota/Moorhead, Minnesota area. Areas north and south of Moorhead were being surrounded by water, and, worst of all, an earthen dike in the city of Fargo developed cracks, prompting the city to spend all night building a secondary one to try to protect downtown.
To read more about this timespan during the flood of '97, see http://mwmnp.blogspot.com/2007/04/flo...
This video came from the "Floodwatch '97" video sold by WDAY-TV in 1997 to benefit flood victims. "
"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."-1 Peter 5:7
"OXBOW, N.D. (AP) - Adrenaline and two hours of sleep got Mike Wieser through the night. But as he gasped for air and looked wearily at his country home slowly being absorbed by a lake of flood water, the new father looked like he would soon be running on empty.
Water was seeping through his homemade dike, he was counting on three pumps to continue spitting out more water than was coming in, and the only other man there to keep it all afloat on Wednesday was his father-in-law.
"It's closing in," he said.
Wieser's not alone. While Fargo and Bismarck get most of the attention as floodwaters approach, people in the countryside quietly, and wearily, are fighting a flood that has already arrived.
"They don't believe Fargo is going to give them any help," 20-year rural mail carrier Rhonda Wyum said about rural residents while snow swirled around her SUV on an icy intersection about 15 miles south of Fargo.
She was unable to deliver mail to some residents because of flooded roads and said conditions were worse than in 1997, when a historic flood ravaged the area.
"If you listen to the news, it's all Fargo. A lot of these little townships around here are struggling, and people don't know it."
Outside of Fargo, 11 homes in rural Cass County had been evacuated by Wednesday afternoon, with more possible.
Reaction to the rural-urban dichotomy from country folks illuminates the lifestyle of self-reliance in this sparse, harsh swath of the northern Plains.
In interviews with residents, no one complained. Even as they fought off flood waters - at the same time a snowstorm raged.
To be sure, Wyum said most rural residents don't begrudge the attention Fargo is getting, understanding that the city "has the fight of its life on its hands."
The mood out here is oddly calm.
As 72-year-old Don Tessier stood alone near the country home where he has lived for 51 years, he shrugged off suggestions his house was in danger. The tidy structure was nearly encircled by water, standing atop a mound Tessier built upon after a flood 40 years ago.
He was more interested in showing off a shin-high chalk mark on a piece of angle-iron in his shed that recorded the water level in 1997.
"It's still got a ways to go," he said in a chipper tone. Tessier stood on dry ground, but water seeping into a nearby corner of the shed formed a small pool.
Like Wieser, Tessier spoke gratefully of the help he had already received from volunteers when asked about the attention paid to Fargo. Five people from Minneapolis who work for the same company as his neighbor, but were strangers to Tessier, helped him build a dike in recent days.
Emergency officials keeping an eye on areas outside Fargo maintained there hasn't been a lack of volunteers, or emergency help.
There was evidence of that on Wednesday in the hamlet of Oxbow, about 10 miles south of Fargo. Emergency teams from the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service swooped into the area with airboats to evacuate a handful of homes surrounded by Red River flood water.
Fifteen-year-old Destiny Dolan and her friend, Kayla Weston, sat shivering in the front of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife boat seconds after they were picked up by emergency responders.
"It was terrifying," Dolan said of being in the home as flood waters encircled it. She lives in Fargo but had been at Weston's home near the river helping build dikes. "I felt very trapped."
Water didn't come into the home but was high enough they couldn't leave.
Just a few blocks down the street, Cass County Sheriff's Deputy Steve Hahn explained that arrangements for the boats to come if needed were made weeks ago when officials predicted possible flooding problems.
But no amount of planning may be able to help residents of more remote areas that can be difficult or impossible to reach because of closed roads.
Cass County Emergency Management Director Dave Rogness was hoping residents could hold it all together using the toughness they've displayed during previous floods.
But everyone has a breaking point.
"When you look at people's resiliency levels and independence in rural areas - it's at a high level," Rogness said.
"But this may push their limits."
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)"
Tips for flooded houses: Flooded Basement "Before entering a flooded basement:
1. Turn off electricity.
2. Turn off gas or fuel valves.
3. Check outside walls for cave-ins, any structural damage, or other hazards.
4. Open your doors and windows to let some fresh air into the basement.
It is important to take pictures or video of the basement for insurance purposes. You should also keep a record of all expenses.
If your basement is flooded, follow these directions to help get your home back to normal. " Flooded Basement - Tips To Help Ease The Pain
By David Zwierecki Platinum Quality Author "..The first thing you want to do is to see where the water is coming into your home at...
If you can locate either of these drains, open them up completely. This will help to quickly reduce the water level in your basement. You can use a squeegee or a broom to help move the water towards the drain(s)... A Flooded Basement Can Cause Health Problems
By Gretchen Vuvalgee
Jan 6, 2009 "A flooded basement is among the most common problems faced by people worldwide. It can occur due to several reasons. The pipeline may have been damaged or blocked and an external pressure may result it to rupture resulting in a flooded basement. In addition, water seeping into the basement through soil can cause the basement to flood. They cause serious damage to the property and household belongings. If the flooded basement cleanup process is not started immediately, it can result in the breeding of insects and viruses within the stagnant water that can be a major concern as far as a person's health condition is concerned. With the dampness settling into almost everything present in the basement, molds begin to grow and cause several health problems..."
NDSU Bison Men's Basketball On ESPN (Sportscenter)
"North Dakota State University Bison vs. Oakland Golden Grizzlies
In The Summit League Championship Game.
"On March 2, 1861, President James Buchanan signed the bill creating the Dakota Territory, which originally included the area covered today by both Dakotas as well as Montana and Wyoming. The name was taken from that of the Dakota or Sioux Indian Tribe. Beginning in 1877, efforts were made to bring Dakota into the Union as both a single state and as two states. The latter was successful and on November 2, 1889, both North and South Dakota were admitted. President Benjamin Harrison went to great lengths to obscure the order in which the statehood proclamations were signed, so the exact order in which the two states entered is unknown. However, because of alphabetical position, North Dakota is often considered the 39th state."
-Attractions Geese in Flight "Geese in Flight was begun in 1998 and completed in 2002. The artist chose to sculpt geese because the birds are significant to North Dakota. They fly through the state every spring and fall, migrating north or south. The geese are enjoyed by bird watchers and hunters alike.
It took four years and over $150,000 to finish this Guinness World Book record sculpture. It was accepted in 2002 by the Guinness World Book as the Worldï¿½ï¿½ Largest Scrap Metal Sculpture."
International Peace Garden
Geomancy of the Holy Grail International Peace Garden Kensington and Verendrye Rune Stones
"After a couple friends from my church got held up in Havre (Montana)due to our car being broke down (see story), we took a Amtrak train to get home. This was my first time on a long passenger train ride. It was a beautiful ride.."
"...I take in the night air during a 45-minute servicing stop. Strolling down the platform, I meet an energetic Australian who is globetrotting with his wife and sister ï¿½ï¿½and has made a special point to ride the Empire Builder because it's "one of the world's greatest train routes."
This man, Allan Sunderland, says he has traveled trains all over the world, and thinks the Empire Builder scenery is "unparalleled." He says he takes trains as much as possible on his global travels because "train travel is designed for people who are more interested in the journey than the destination. On a train, people slow down and pay attention to each other. By the time they get to their destination, they're good friends."...
"..The second day of travel on the Empire Builder-the journey from Minot North Dakota to the edge of Glacier National Park-is one of the longest train rides in the United States. Heading west, you have two time changes-to mountain time and then Pacific time. Plus, it being summer, it wouldn't get dark much before 10pm. We spent much of the day in either our sleeper or the lounge, with its expansive windows revealing ever changing scenery: the blue lakes dotting the undulating hills of North Dakota or the "big sky" over Montana. I read a bit, but couldn't get into the story with all the scenery. The funny thing is that the scenery that second day on the Empire Builder is rather tame. After all, it's North Dakota and eastern Montana. Pretty drab stuff to most folks. Yet most of the chairs in the lounge were taken, all kinds of passengers knitting or reading or chatting amiably, but every few minutes heads would look out at the passing farms or frontier towns or the ubiquitous grain elevators..."