Monday night, the West Fargo City Commission approved an emergency declaration in advance of expected spring flooding, just as the communities of Fargo and other adjoining areas have already done.
Doing so lays the groundwork to be eligible for federal funding if the president declares a state of emergency due to flooding, if the need arises.
A couple of weeks ago, city officials began preliminary flood-related plans that included setting up meetings with residents living both south and north of the Interstate to share information regarding this proactive stance and correlating efforts; as well as initiating a 60-point list of preparatory things to have in place, i.e. backhoes, generators, and other plans and items needed for successful follow-through in the event of overland flooding, ice jams, or other issues caused by excessive water.
The meetings to field questions and provide additional updates on what is happening have now been scheduled and will begin next week, with the first one Monday night at 7 p.m., in the West Fargo High School Theatre for all residents living north of I-94.
The second meeting will take place Thursday, March 11, also at 7 p.m. in the Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center Commons area for all residents south of the Interstate.
Kevin Bucholz, of Moore Engineering, will be there on hand to conduct a preparedness presentation and speak about some of the different potential risk areas; and city staff, as well as city commissioners, will also be in attendance to assist and answer questions.
Overall, city officials are not expecting any insurmountable difficulties, saying the areas presenting the most potential for 'some' risk are those located along the river south of the Interstate and east of Sheyenne Street.
Even though the potential flood threat for our community so ably protected by the Sheyenne Diversion is minimal, all this pre-planning shouldn't be dismissed or taken lightly - this is still one of those situations where more information is better.
Therefore, the need to make every attempt to take in the meeting geared for your respective area.