Life from the inside of the Fargo flooding

I thought I would share how residents in Fargo and sorrounding communities are dealing with the flooding situation by posting the exchanges I have had with my dear friend of 13 years, Tom Irsfeld. Tom was a mentor and instrument to the success I have had in my career. In the mids of keeping an eye on his family and helping the community to safeguard their lives and properties he still finds time to have some humor and an upbeat spirit. This is true for all the people of North Dakota.

Hey Mariano,

You had asked about the flooding (I missed your call, I was out sandbagging yesterday). It’s easier to show via picture (using this great Microsoft product). So far we are okay. The red square is our house, Microsoft campus is about a mile to the left. The empty space behind the houses normally fills in with water only when the river level gets to about 30 feet or if we have a sudden heavy rain.

The treeline on the right is the Rose Creek Coulee, it flows to the Red River in about a mile. Normally, it has only a foot of water in it, if that, but now is filled & overflowing its banks..

Initially the city’s plan was to do a sandbag dike through our yard (the green broken line), but the city wisely decided to build a clay dike instead across, which saved thousands of sandbags & lots of work. And saved my lawn J

The blue lines are some kind of modular walls that are filled with sand, they were provided by the National Guard & are much easier than sandbags. But they can only be used on flat land (which in Fargo, there is plenty of) or where a Bobcat can get in to fill them with sand. The pink lines are sandbag dikes to connect the 2. There are 3 more cul-de-sacs that have the same thing happening.

So for now we are okay, the crest is expected Sunday (40 feet). Yesterday the sandbagging was nice (50 degrees & sunny), but overnight we got 3-4 inches of snow with another 3-4 inches expected to come (you know it’s bad when the shopping mall even closes).

So far, so good, as long as the weather cooperates & doesn’t dump too much rain all at once, or if it gets too warm too fast & all the snow melts at the same time.

Tom also provided an update 2 days later as follows:


If I were in the 21st century, I would have a Facebook page to share info (or I guess MySpace), but anyway, here's the latest Fargo flood update.

The river now is at 40.33 feet (the old record of 40.1 was in 1897 ---- in 1997, the year of the last flood, it was 39.5). The expected crest is to hit on Monday & last for 7 days, the NWS says it will crest at 43 feet. Unfortunately, our dikes are at 43 feet, so we now have to put another 1 foot on top of them (which means 2 more days of sandbagging starting today). So for the next 10 days, in my area, we will have to watch the dikes for leaks (unless of course it flows over on Monday).

We have moved most important things from the basement to the main floor & much of the main floor valuables (our Picassos & Faberge eggs) up to the 2nd floor. Some neighborhoods in Fargo & Moorhead have had some precauationary evaucuations due to some leaking in the dikes, but the city engineers are working to fix that.

The good news is that the Microsoft campus is closed, so we don't have to work (even if it were open, travel is prohibited anyway). :)

Tom I.

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP
Maximum Global Business, LLC


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