Communities along Red River bracing for high water on both sides of the border

News source from CTV News

The Red River has crested in Fargo, N.D., which means communities to the north are bracing for high water.

About hour away in Grand Forks the rising river has become a sight to see.

“It’s crazy. I’ve never seen it this high,” said Susan Sweeney.

Over the next few days the city is bracing for the river to climb another five feet.

City of Grand Forks spokesperson John Bernstrom showed CTV News flood walls put up since 2011 to protect the city’s downtown.

Grand Forks has seen devastation from flooding in the past. How high the water came in 1997 is marked by a monument, now half covered up by river water.

Two of three city bridges over the Red were closed as of Tuesday afternoon.

“A lot of watching and waiting. There’s a sense of confidence because of our flood protection and how we’ve seen it operate, a sense of confidence based on the projections we’re getting from the National Weather Service, but it’s a lot of water pumping through the river,” said Bernstrom.

Further north in Emerson, Man., there isn’t a flood wall. Instead, dirt piles have been placed in case of rising waters to protect the rail lines.

READ MORE: Flood forecast improves slightly with good weather, warning in effect at Emerson

If there’s flooding the dirt will get moved to make a barrier so trains can get through.

Municipal emergency coordinator Bill Spanjer said his area has been getting ready for the river to crest, which is expected sometime next week.

“We’ve been steaming culverts, we’ve been moving snow from inside the dike to outside the dike to prevent a water build up and overloading our system,” said Spanjer, who is with the Municipality of Emerson-Franklin.

“We’ve got 4,000 sandbags for people who live outside the dike areas.”

He said the area is well prepared and now it’s just a matter of seeing what the Red River brings.

The area isn’t anticipating evacuations this year.

For safety reasons, Spanjer asks people to stay away from flood waters.



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