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The Red River IS flooding again.

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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 07:54 PM
Original message
The Red River IS flooding again.
Edited on Mon Mar-23-09 08:23 PM by ColbertWatcher
Here's the Wikip*dia link describing the last time that happened, in 1997, and the Wikip*dia article for James Lee Witt, the man who headed FEMA at the time.

Although unrelated, this is my favorite Witt-era FEMA story:
Ellen Gordon, administrator of Iowa's Emergency Management Division, has a similarly uncanny memory when it comes to FEMA's response to the Midwestern floods of 1993. Shortly after midnight on Sunday, July 11, she received a call from L.D. McMullen, the general manager of the Des Moines Water Works. Their operation was at the point of collapse, he said. The 250,000 citizens of Des Moines would soon lose all of their water.

One year earlier, Gordon would have mailed federal relief request forms to Washington, where, as Puerto Rico's Governor Hernandez-Colon discovered, they may have received a less-than-speedy response. But all Gordon had to do was place a phone call to the FEMA disaster field office located in Davenport. Early Sunday morning, FEMA officials arrived in Des Moines, and, by 11:30 a.m., they had determined a plan of action. By that evening, 29 water distribution centers had been established. The next morning, the first of 30 self-contained water purification machines arrived. For the next two-and-a-half weeks, the Des Moines Water Works was inoperable, but the city had all the water it needed. "Nothing sticks out in our minds that we had to haggle over or justify," says Gordon. "Whenever we asked for assistance it was there."

--Washington Monthly


The Red River is flooding again, but I'm confident that we've learned from our past and we will avoid repeating mistakes.

(EDITED TO REFLECT THE REALITY)

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donheld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 08:14 PM
Response to Original message
1. It is flooding - It may break the record.
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I'm sorry, that's what I meant. Thank you for making that clear. n/t
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Condem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 08:18 PM
Response to Original message
2. From an Iowan, I wish you the best
A blizzard tonight?
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
4. I was sandbagging all morning. It's getting bad fast.
The river level is rising mind-bogglingly fast, and now we are getting a thunderstorm dumping huge amounts of rain that's going straight into the river.

:argh:
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carlyhippy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. I know Grand Forks/EGF has a flood wall in place, does Fargo have a floodwall?
It's supposed to snow 6-12 inches west of you guys, hope it doesn't hit you too. Pretty scary, it's too early for this!
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. We have a pretty good dike system build after the '97 flood.
But there are still plenty of places that need sandbags.
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 09:34 PM
Response to Original message
5. Fargo In-Forum
Edited on Mon Mar-23-09 09:35 PM by RC
http://www.inforum.com /
Lots of news of the flooding here in Fargo and surrounding area.

Sigh up and you can post your responses to the news stories, LTTE and to the local righwing nutz responding. That can be fun sometimes when the subject is abortion or the recent non-profit Blue Cross Blue Shield $227,000 award trip to the Grand Cayman Islands for 30 some people. The CEO got fired over it and was handed $2.2 million to go away.

Just because we don't have many people doesn't mean stuff doesn't happen here.

The Lead Flood story:
FROM BAD TO WORSE: Forecast flood crest earlier, higher than first thought
F-M area steps up efforts upon hearing news Fargo-Moorhead and surrounding areas were inundated with bad news Sunday with a new predicted Red River flood crest that now could reach 39 to 41 feet and arrive as early as Friday a foot higher and day earlier than originally forecast.
http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/234981 /

The Comment I made in response to story:
Winnipeg bit the bullet and took care of the spring problems the Red River caused them. Winnipeg is 115 feet lower than Fargo and receives everything we send them from the Red River. They don't have to do much, if anything while we have to scramble each spring, spending money needed for other operations, to keep from being washed away.
How many times over could a diversion/storage channel save the time and costs of building and removing the temporary dikes and sandbags for this annual spring headache?
We don't seem to have a problem paying for the ongoing treatment of the symptoms, but we are slow to acknowledge anything that address a cure because of the one time cost? The Red River diversion should have been in the works at least 20 years ago. Then maybe the water for a 40+ foot crest would not be such a problem now.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Almost every year, doing the same thing over and over. Doing the right thing costs too much, so they don't even try. Apparently we haven't cut taxes enough to afford the diversion yet.


Now back to your regularly scheduled flood.
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AndrewP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 09:45 PM
Response to Original message
6. Yep. I live 2 blocks from a man made dike in downtown Fargo.
I sleep with one eye open.

But really, I'm lucky. I live at a flood stage of 42. Many people in the southern part of the city live in much lower ground, and they will be flooded badly.

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carlyhippy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. it's bad all over, I was just watching the news
Edited on Mon Mar-23-09 10:22 PM by carlyhippy
towns by the dozens telling their residents to plug up sewer drains and conserve water. Very serious, I live in N MN and saw the footage of a part of I29 flowing like a river.
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 10:24 PM
Response to Original message
9. During the 1997 flood I had some contact with FEMA.
I was flying for Civil Air Patrol and we regularly flew FEMA people up to Crookston (couldn't get to GFK). I was really impressed with the FEMA people we met. Of course, that was then. I hope they're getting their act together and can offer the same kind and quality of assistance if it becomes necessary. I hope it isn't... I remember flying over that area and was amazed at the extent of the flooding.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Thank God Brownie isn't running FEMA anymore.
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