Saving Riverview Circle: The water hazard

Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker today urged people to keep their humor to keep the stress down. They didn’t have to tell John Brummer and his son, Danny, this morning. John was unfazed by the obvious water hazard that’s appeared in the last week in their Moorhead neighborhood.



Sunday has brought a sense of relief to Riverview Circle, but not a sense of victory. Not quite yet anyway, or at least not to the extent where people seem willing to jinx their improving fortunes by exhaling.

The water flowing into the street has slowed remarkably. Compare the amount coming out of the pump hose with previous pictures (also note the dark ring on the trees showing the dropping water level).


But that’s not entirely good news. The slower flow means it’s hitting the bottom of the dike and potentially creating a weak spot. With help from Moorhead firefighters, firefighters from other cities, the Morses next door, and the Brummer family, a solution is devised.


Adam Stewart places a ladder out in the river, and landscape lumber is used to hold the hose farther out.


With that done, the neighbors, family, and firefighters haul sandbags — many of which are unfortunately frozen — to reinforce the dike. The best weapon the Red River Valley has against the flood has been its own ingenuity.

Out front, reunions are taking place. Donna Morse hasn’t seen, John Brummer’s wife, Jeanie, since all of this started.


Bruce Johnson stopped over for an update from the Morses.


Bruce left shortly thereafter. “I have to go check a pump,” he said.

And other neighbors are emerging to catch up on one another’s status.

I stopped over to the Johnsons first today. I had intended to bring doughnuts to all three families, but the stores are mostly out. The Johnsons got my meager offerings today. Vikki’s parents have arrived today, the basement is still dry, and they were able to get some sleep.

The neighborhood is still very quiet.The one portable toilet on the street has been removed. “That’s a good thing,” Vikki says. It means someone — somewhere — thinks the sewage and water system will hold up.

Firefighters are walking the street in groups, as other fire vehicles — I saw one from Savage awhile ago — drive the riverfront. They’ve worked incredibly hard. And deserve a break and a check-in to see how their own families are faring.


Nobody thinks this fight is over. But a few moments of humor, an occasional bit of relaxation, and the well-timed visit from a neighbor is an account from which the Riverview Circle folks can withdraw when and if the river makes its next move.




Update 1:44 p.m.The latest river projection is very encouraging. The level was expected to go up today, now it’s projected to go straight down.


At the current level, this side of the street may be out of danger by next Saturday. The river may drop much faster than expected earlier today.

(Please note: I know a lot of folks are coming to this blog for the first time. Our navigation isn’t very good for following a single-theme over many days. So if you’d like to follow all of the flood posts, go here. Start at the bottom and work your way up. And thanks for stopping by!)