The Red River has dropped 6/10ths of a foot, but the current is strong and still threatening to topple dikes in the area. Overnight a flood wall near the Oak Grove Lutheran school started leaking underground. The area was evacuated before floodwaters seeped in. Backup dikes prevented the floodwaters from reaching other areas.
The Department of Homeland Security had asked local officials to evacuate the cities, mindful of what happened suddenly and tragicly during the Grand Forks, ND flood of 1997. Local officials opted to not evacuate since they were confident in their dikes and contingency levies that would minimize damaage should one of the main dikes give way.
Emergency officials say the watchword of the day is “vigilance” to notice and react to any leaks.
Local government officials estimate it would take $800 million to build a permanent flood wall like the one that now protects Grand Forks. Fargo’s Mayor Dennis Walaker was asked if the success of his team in preventing flood damange might diminish the “political will” to fund that flood wall. Walaker shook his head and didn’t want to speculate.
This is a news conference with local flood officials including the Governor of North Dakota and the Mayor of Fargo