Fargo, Moorhead: Little aid after '97 flood

  • Article by: RICHARD MERYHEW , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 26, 2009 - 10:59 PM

Cities worst hit in 1997 got help shoring up defenses, but others didn't.

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dvparrotheadMar. 26, 0911:09 PM

And of course, we see North Dakota's governor, senators and representative here in force, pledging support. Who's missing? Tim Pawlenty, Amy Klobuchar, a senator to be named later, and Collin Peterson. The Minnesota side is being shafted by its own.

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missjennahansenMar. 26, 0911:19 PM

Governor Pawlenty was already here on Monday and did some sand bagging. Peterson and Klobuchar are coming tomorrow. We haven't been shafted. Get your facts straight before you run your mouth.

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eskimospyMar. 27, 09 3:20 AM

I grew up in the Fargo/Moorhead area and have vivid memories of past floods in the area. The 1997 flood deeply affected some of my family members living in the Grand Forks area. Unfortunately, the topography of ancient Lake Agassiz is such that it makes the entire region prone to flooding. I am VERY happy to see that Grand Forks/East Grand Forks, and Wahpeton/Breckinridge are in good shape to handle this latest flood. It's a testament that the application of good planning and public works can be used to improve the lives of its citizens and businesses. Sadly, when the cities of Fargo and Moorhead were successful in heading off the flood in 1997, the cities became less of a priority for flood control planning in the ensuing years. I guess that's understandable, especially when people have other priorities to attend to. It's my hope that now, FINALLY, the Fargo/Moorhead area will receive the funding and attention it needs to keep this from happening again. It is time to stop depending on the herculean effort of volunteers to save the city from flooding. I give the volunteers a huge amount of praise for working themselves to exhaustion to fill just one more sandbag, raise the dikes just a couple more feet. Still, just think of the financial and physical toll that it takes on them. Just think of all of the businesses that have closed this week due to the flooding. Just think of the colleges that cancelled classes so students could help sandbag. I hope and pray that the river won't rise to 43 feet as is feared. I have immediate family in the F/M area. It's my hope the cities are spared and that a permanent plan for addressing their flooding issues is put on fast track in the very near future.

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bellamn16Mar. 27, 09 6:56 AM

I don't understand why lawmakers and citizens don't realize that infastructure money prevents disasters like this! With slightly higher transportation-related taxes in ND and MN, along with some federal aid we could have built a flood protection system along the ENTIRE Red River and protected Fargo?Moorehead from this. As is, both cities are probably going to be under water by Sunday and we're going to have a several BILLION dollar price tag on something that could have been prevented for less than a billion dollars. Regardless of how some feel about people choosing to live on the flood plain, they live there...and when it floods, we all pay for it. Think about that the next time you complain about a transportation tax hike.

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granmanMar. 27, 09 7:54 AM

Pawlenty is out running for Vice President again

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A_DavisMar. 27, 0910:39 AM

Residents in the Red River Valley are sometimes frugal to a fault. What they've done, and are doing, trying to stop this flood, is magnificent, heroic, and selfless, but why are they in a position where they have to do it? West Fargo, for example, spent $41 million on a diversion project and they're looking good right now. It's a place where many will evacuate to. When a major metropolitan area in the upper Midwest, Fargo-Moorhead, has a ticking time bomb waiting to explode every spring, that time bomb should be deactivated. The only way to do that once we catch our breath after this fright or recover after this disaster (depending on the next few days) is to put in place permanent flood mitigation. Pronto.

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