Cass County and the City of Fargo join forces for upcoming sandbag operations
This is the first time Cass County and the City of Fargo will combine operations since 2013
WEST FARGO, N.D. — Cass County and The City of Fargo are coming together for this year’s flood fight.
“I really don’t see any negatives, cause it kind of maximizes everybody’s efforts, whether it is from a volunteer standpoint, [or] as city and county resources and staffing,” Cass County engineer Jason Benson said.
For the first time since 2013, both the county and the city will be filling sandbags at one location.
The move comes after evaluating what was done last year, which was the first time the area experienced flooding since 2013.
With similar flood conditions expected in 2020, the county and the city believes combining their operation will get them ready for what is to come.
“This year, we got a little bit more time to prepare and we are expecting to have similar if not greater floods than what we had last year,” says Benson. “Right now on the Red River, the 50% chance is 35 feet, which is where we were last year and the 10% chance is 39 feet. For our planning, we look at that 50% chance, but we really plan for that 10% chance.”
With things shaping up to be much like how they were a year ago, the number of sandbags needed are going to be equally as high as they were last year.
In 2019, the county delivered 80,000 filled sandbags while the city ending up using 10,000.
If river levels rise higher, those numbers could double or even triple.
“If we had a flood similar to last year, we will need about 100,000 sandbags,” says Benson. “As we get up closer to a 39 foot flood on the Red River, we will need closer to 200,000 and then if we have a 40 feet or greater, we will need closer to 300,000 sandbags.”
With so many sandbags needed, Cass County and the city hope to have found the most efficient way to get it done by combining their efforts into one operation.
“I think this is a great opportunity to come together as a community and also to use those resources collaboratively,” says Benson