River Brings Flooding to U.S., Canada

“River Brings Flooding to U.S., Canada,” Liahona, August 2009, N7

River Brings Flooding to U.S., Canada

Two people died and more than 50 were injured in the worst flooding Fargo, North Dakota, USA, has seen in 112 years. The flooding of the Red River led to the evacuation of 150 homes on March 27, 2009. The U.S. government declared all of North Dakota and seven counties in Minnesota, USA, disaster areas.

In Fargo, the flooding destroyed one member home, and approximately 17 member families evacuated as a precaution. All missionaries were safe. The floodwater did not damage any Church buildings or missionary apartments.

Volunteers filled more than 2.5 million sandbags to reinforce levees protecting endangered areas. Members and missionaries were among those volunteering. Many schools and offices in the area closed to allow students and employees to help sandbag.

Parts of Manitoba, Canada, prepared their communities as the floodwater moved downstream toward them. The Red River, which runs along the border between North Dakota and Minnesota, continues northward into Manitoba, Canada, and empties into Lake Winnipeg.

The flooding started in mid-March, when rainstorms melted the snowpack before it could be absorbed into the earth. The river overflowed as the additional water and large chunks of ice clogged its flow. The flooding eroded a dike, washing over parts of Fargo. At one point, the Red River rose to 40.32 feet (12 m), 22 feet (6.8 m) above flood level.

Local Church members are planning ongoing projects to help with the cleanup process.