2011 Flood: National Guard Planning for a Worst Case ScenarioAs spring nears, the fear of another flood is becoming reality. It's something the Army National Guard has been planning months for: A worst case scenario.
Shane Gibson doesn't worry too much about flood levels in Grand Forks.
“I mean, after '07 they know what they're doing,” Gibson said.
The Army National Guard isn't taking any chances. It's been preparing for months to battle rising water.
“The overall Guard strength in North Dakota is greater than 3-thousand personnel. Our soldiers are prepared in the event of this, discussion of this happened, as well as pre-positioning equipment throughout the State and local areas suspect of severe flooding taking place. Some sandbags, Hescoes, barriers of that nature,” Maj. John Kapocius with the North Dakota National Guard said.
The National Weather Service predicts a 50-percent chance of the red river hitting 50 feet in Grand Forks and more than 37 feet in Fargo. Both above flood stage. The current flood wall here in Grand Forks protects the city up to 57 feet giving some people peace of mind.
“Even if it does get high, I mean they're prepared so I'm not too worried. I mean I have a lot of family in Fargo so I worry more about them,” Gibson said.
The state's Guard will be split for east and west task forces throughout North Dakota. They are some of the first military responders after local government asks for assistance and they are ready.
“Experience is a very good teacher from unfortunately the past 2 years in the Fargo area and using lessons learned from those past 2 years,” Kapocius said.
Property owners in Cass County and Fargo can learn more about revised flood maps, FEMA plans to release this summer. This comes after more than a decade of study and two delays.
The map for south Fargo is expected to bring dozens of additional homes into the 100-year floodplain, requiring many to buy high-risk flood insurance. A meeting on this is at the Fargo Library Monday night at 7 p.m. A similar one is Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Grand Forks County Office Building.