Fargo Prepares For A Major Flood Season – WCCO | CBS Minnesota

Fargo Prepares For A Major Flood Season - WCCO | CBS Minnesota

Midwest Flooding: 2 Dead As Waters Breach Levees Along Missouri River

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s largest city has declared an emergency and Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney is asking residents to help fill 1 million sandbags as the city prepares for major Red River flooding.

The National Weather Service says “significant” snowmelt flooding is likely this spring in the Red River Valley after last week’s massive late-winter storm in the Midwest. The chance the river will reach major flood stage in Fargo has increased from 50 percent to 90 percent.

Video: Midwest braces for more rain as deadly and historical flooding devastates the region

Homes flood as Missouri River overtops, breaches levees

The neighboring cities of Fargo and Moorhead, Minnesota, experienced a record flood 10 years ago. The two cities have implemented several measures such as home buyouts and levees since then.

But Mahoney says there are still areas that could be vulnerable. Sandbag-filling operations begin March 26, and Mahoney is asking the public to help.

Gavins Point releases to drop; water tops Missouri River levee near Hamburg

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Hundreds of homes flooded in several Midwestern states after rivers breached at least a dozen levees following heavy rain and snowmelt in the region, authorities said Monday while warning that the flooding was expected to linger.

About 200 miles of levees were compromised — either breached or overtopped — in four states, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said. Even in places where the water level peaked in those states — Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas — the current was fast and the water so high that damage continued to pile up. The flooding was blamed for at least three deaths.

Waterways in eastern Nebraska — the Elkhorn, Loup and Platte Rivers — have begun dropping, but the situation remains dicey, said David Pearson, a hydrologist at the weather service. On Sunday, a levee on the Platte River near North Bend was breached, he said.

The levees are busted and we arent even into the wet season when the rivers run high, said Tom Bullock, the emergency management director for Missouris Holt County.

A broken Missouri River gauge at Plattsmouth, Nebraska, has been fixed, and the gauge at Brownville, Nebraska, has been recalibrated. It was reading 0.4 of a foot too high, said Kellie Bergman, chief of the hydrologic engineering branch for the corps.

He said many homes in a mostly rural area of Holt County were inundated with 6 to 7 feet (1.8 to 2.1 meters) of water from the swollen Missouri River. He noted that local farmers are only a month away from planting corn and soybeans.

US 61 closed at Des Moines River in Keokuk due to flooding

The water isnt going to be gone, and the levees arent going to be fixed this year, said Bullock, whose own home was now on an island surrounded by floodwater.

One couple was rescued by helicopter after water from three breached levees swept across 40,000 acres (62.5 square miles), he said. Another nine breaches were confirmed in Nebraska and Iowa counties south of the Platte River, the Corps said.

Flooding was causing problems for passenger train service between Kansas City, Missouri, and St. Louis. Amtrak said Sunday that its Missouri River Runner service between the states two largest cities was experiencing delays up to five hours because of flooding and rail congestion. All Missouri River Runner trains will be canceled Monday. The service typically travels twice daily between the two metropolitan areas.

In Atchison County, Missouri, about 130 people were urged to leave their homes as water levels rose and strained levees, three of which had already been overtopped by water. Missouri State Highway Patrol crews were on standby to rescue anyone who insisted on staying despite the danger.

At least two people have died in the floodwaters. Aleido Rojas Galan, 52, of Norfolk, Nebraska, was swept away Friday night in southwestern Iowa, when the vehicle he was in went around a barricade. Two others in the vehicle survived — one by clinging to a tree. On Thursday, Columbus, Nebraska, farmer James Wilke, 50, died when a bridge collapsed as he used a tractor to try and reach stranded motorists.

The next four to five days are going to be pretty rough, said Rhonda Wiley, Atchison Countys emergency management and 911 director.

Downstream in St. Joseph, Missouri, home to 76,000 people, volunteers were helping to fill sandbags to help secure a levee protecting an industrial area. Calls were out for even more volunteers in hopes of filling 150,000 sandbags by Tuesday, when the Missouri River is expected to climb to 27 feet (8.2 meters) — 10 feet (3 meters) above technical flood stage.

The Missouri River already crested upstream of Omaha, Nebraska, though hundreds of people remained out of their homes and water continued to pour through busted levees. Flooding was so bad around Fremont, Nebraska, that just one lane of U.S. 30 was uncovered outside the city of 26,000. State law enforcement limited traffic on that road to pre-approved trucks carrying gas, food, water and other essential supplies.

Three dead, one missing in devastating floods across U.S. Midwest

There are no easy fixes to any of this, said Fremont City Administrator Brian Newton. We need Mother Nature to decrease the height of the river.

Sen. Sasse, Sen. Gragert, and I visited Niobrara for their community meeting today over the noon hour at the fire hall. There is unbelievable devastation that has wiped out everything from the Highway 12 bridge to the cafe. But their community spirit remains strong. pic.twitter.com/PXSZwZLFIb

In southwest Iowa, the Missouri River reached a level in Fremont County that was 2 feet (0.6 meter) above a record set in 2011. The countys emergency management director, Mike Crecelius, said Monday that more water was flooding into low-lying parts of Hamburg, where a wall of sand-filled barriers was breached when one failed.

President Donald Trump tweeted Monday that he is staying in close contact with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem about the flooding.

The people of Fremont stepped up today in a major way to help protect their community. We will get through this together — neighbor helping neighbor. #NebraskaFlood | #NebraskaStrong pic.twitter.com/2DaPmMKpJL

Reynolds, touring flood-ravaged areas of the state for the second straight day, warned that flooding will worsen along the Mississippi River as snow melts to the north.

In a bit of good news, the Platte and Elkhorn rivers near Omaha were quickly receding Monday morning. Both of those rivers had crested this weekend, breaking records from the 1960s.

The National Weather Service said the river was expected to crest Thursday in St. Joseph, Missouri, at its third-highest level on record. Military C-130 planes were evacuated last week from nearby Rosecrans Air National Guard base.

Some of the worst flooding is receding Monday, but other areas, especially from Nebraska City, Nebraska, to St. Joseph, Missouri, will see river flooding continue this week.

Dramatic Satellite Photos Show Historic Flooding Across Central U.S. in Wake of Bomb Cyclone

In North Dakota, Fargo was preparing for potentially major flooding along the Red River — the same river that ravaged the city a decade ago. Mayor Tim Mahoney declared an emergency and asked residents to help fill 1 million sandbags in response to a weather service warning that snowmelt poses a big risk in Fargo. Sandbag-filling operations start March 26.

Over 100 people have been rescued and more than 870 are staying in shelters, according to officials with Nebraskas Office of Emergency Management.

In Illinois, weather service readings showed major flooding along the Pecatonica River at Shirland and Freeport, and the Rock River in the Rockford area and Moline. Freeport City Manager Lowell Crow said officials there expected the Pecatonica River to possibly rise to a record level or at least to a level we havent seen in 50 years.

A detour is in effect and officials said drivers will need to take a detour from Wayland, Missouri to Argyle, Iowa which is about 20 miles.

80-year-old woman among 3 dead from historic flooding

The high water was blamed in the deaths of three people from Nebraska. Betty Hamernik, 80, of rural Columbus, was trapped in her home by the fast-rising Loup River. Her body was recovered Saturday.

Businesses were packing sand bags this weekend to prepare for the rising waters that will hit the area.

Aleido Rojas Galan of Norfolk was swept away Friday night in southwestern Iowa, when the vehicle he was in went around a barricade. On Thursday, Columbus farmer James Wilke, 50, died when a bridge collapsed as he used a tractor to try and reach stranded motorists.

Deputies will be watching the highway throughout the week to make sure drivers comply with the signs.

Midwest flooding: Devastating floods leave at least 3 dead, force thousands from their homes

Two men in Nebraska have been missing since Thursday. One was last seen on top of his flooded car; the other was swept away after a dam collapsed.

The Missouri Department of Transportation reported about 100 flood-related road closures, including a stretch of Interstate 29.

Jud Kneuvean, emergency manager with the Army Corp of Engineers Kansas City district, blamed rainfall, snowmelt and higher temperatures converging all at the same time. No significant flooding was expected east of Kansas City, though Kneuvean said the Corps was monitoring closely.

When you have a high river and have any forecast of rain on it, it can change the scenario very quickly, Kneuvean said.

The Midwests flooding crisis is a terrifying preview of climate impacts to come

Associated Press writers Jim Salter in St. Louis; Grant Schulte in Lincoln, Nebraska; Nelson Lampe in Omaha, Nebraska; Caryn Rousseau in Chicago; David Pitt in Des Moines, Iowa; and Blake Nicholson in Bismarck, North Dakota, contributed to this report.

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