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When it comes to spring melt and flood control in West Fargo, every spring is different. Recently, there has been an unexpected increase in flows of the Sheyenne River and other area rivers that is causing issues for our neighbors in rural Cass County. In West Fargo, the diversion is still operating as designed. Ice and ice jams, which can cause significant problems, has not become an issue. The river channel continues to fill and we are remaining at a 24 hour/7 day a week staffing model to monitor it closely.
The crest is currently expected to occur the morning of Wednesday, April 10. The peak should drop quickly over the following days. However, in West Fargo we monitor river flows instead of crests. Currently, Baldhill Dam, which empties into the Sheyenne River and impacts are flows, is discharging at over 2,100 cubic feet per second (cfs).* Flows are expected to remain at a level that requires the long-term operation of the diversion, even after the crest and drop.
To the south of I-94 we have asked neighborhood captains to continue to check their banks and notify staff of any concerns. At this time, residents throughout the City of West Fargo should have their sump pumps discharging outside to ensure the sanitary sewer system doesn’t become overwhelmed and backup into properties. Residents should also continuously monitor catch basins and drains near their property to ensure they do not become obstructed with debris.
We are having issues to the far northern areas of West Fargo. Overland flooding has prompted us to close a pair of sluice gates in the ditches of County Road 10, just west of 15th Street NW. Crews have also started to pump out of these ditches into Drain 21 in effort to keep 15th Street NW open for township residents to access their homes. The county has closed County Road 10 just west of the Public Works Department building.
We have also raised Drain 21 berms where the drain crosses 19th Avenue N near the West Fargo Municipal Airport. This is to contain water in Drain 21 to protect the airport and local residential properties. In conjunction, Mapleton has raised part of 19th Avenue NW.
*Cubic feet per second (cfs) is one of the key indicators of river conditions. Cfs readings are taken at select points along rivers, and readings vary with location. As a general rule, the higher the cfs reading, the more water is flowing past that point at that time.