Contributing Editors

Flood Risk Areas Evacuate; Residents Move Belongings Into Storage

by John Stevens March 23, 2010 4:41 PM
Residents of areas that are at high-risk of flood across the United States left their homes this week and moved as many of their possessions as they could into storage. The National Weather Service warned on Tuesday that one third of the contiguous United States is at high risk for “historic flooding.” In many areas, the flooding has already begun. [More]

Fargo Continues to Seek Sandbag Space as City Warehouse Floor Collapses

by John Stevens March 5, 2010 10:26 AM
The city of Fargo, North Dakota, ran into a snag this week in its effort to fill and store one million sandbags to prepare for the likely flooding of the Red River this spring. In a city warehouse, workers were attempting to stack more than 5,000 sandbags when the floor of the building collapsed under the sandbags' weight. No one was hurt, but as the sandbags plummeted into the basement, they broke a gas line. According to Assistant Fire Chief Larry Schuh (quoted in Tuesday's Bismarck Tribune and InForum), firefighting crews had to vent the building for 45 minutes before they could enter safely. Meanwhile, police diverted traffic for four city blocks around the warehouse, fearing that the escaping gas might cause an explosion.

The building in which the floor collapsed was not a commercial storage facility. It was an abandoned building being leased by the city and was previously occupied by Sugar Sand Marine, a boat manufacturer. The building was built in 1956 and was the only storage space used by the city in which sandbags were being stored on a floor that stood above another level. In other facilities where the city is leasing storage space, sandbags are being stored at ground level in buildings that do not have basements. Currently, Fargo has leased enough space for 1.6 million sandbags, but it is negotiating with two other facilities in order to line up more space, according to Terry Ludlum, Fargo's solid waste utility manager (who was quoted in Tuesday's Worthington Daily Globe). [More]

Fargo ND Seeks Temporary Sandbag Storage Sites

by Winnie Hsiu February 15, 2010 12:36 PM
Officials in Fargo, North Dakota, announced yesterday that they are searching for sites at which sandbags can be stored to prepare for the spring flooding season. According to Fargo Enterprise Director Bruce Grubb, the city is currently calling for volunteers to fill the sandbags. Fargo plans to fill one million sandbags over the course of two weeks, starting on March 1. While the city has some storage sites in mind already, they are still looking for others.

The National Weather Service is predicting that the Red River has an 86 percent chance of producing major flooding in the Fargo-Moorhead area this spring. Conditions now are very similar to the conditions that preceded last year's Red River flooding. [More]