STAFF BLOG STORM TRACKER Red River Flooding: Flat Does Us a Favor
Forecasting floods on the Red River and its tributaries has always been difficult. The region is so flat that water forms ponds in fields, making it very hard to gauge how fast the rivers will rise. F... Posted on 6/10/15 at 11:26 PM
STAFF BLOG AG RIGHT Complicated and controversial
It's said that every story in journalism is important -- but that some stories are more complicated than others.
That's certainly the case with the repeated Souris River flooding that has hurt ranche... Posted on 7/11/14 at 11:59 AM
Farmers and ranchers in the Devils Lake Basin who have land inundated by flooding could be eligible for some financial relief, after last week’s U.S. Department of Agriculture decision to reopen the Wetland Reserve Program to farmers in the Prairie Pothole Region.
The Wetlands Reserve Program is a great program. I am glad to see something being done in Washington this year for North Dakota farmers in the Devils Lake basin — farmers who have been through and have lost so much.
Standing water plagues fields the most in southern Red River Valley Farmers made little if any progress in harvesting crops the past week in eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota as rainy, muddy and cold conditions continued to foil field operations.
Right now, it’s just a line on a map. The red stripe marks the proposed route of a channel a half-mile wide in rural Clay County, an imprecise indication of where floodwater funneled away from Fargo-Moorhead by a billion-dollar ditch would go.
I get upset with letters like Richard Betting’s in The Jamestown Sun on April 22. The thought seems to be blame the farmers. The Red, Sheyenne and James rivers just broke records established approximately 100 years ago. I don’t believe there was much drainage then and I know there were not hundreds of acres of concrete and asphalt along the rivers.
Kent and Jan Lahren have a cattle operation west of Walcott. They say the National Guard, friends and relatives helped them save their farm home. Water was only a foot from the home when a dike went up.
The Red River Valley contains some of the world’s finest farmland. But there are signs, including comments by a top agricultural leader, that area farmers will need to make sacrifices to control future flooding. “The only way this is going to work, in my opinion, is if everybody gives up something, and that includes farmers,” said Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn.
“Why do people continue to build their homes so close to the river?” writes a commenter on a flood story in The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.
Asks another in a Minneapolis Star Tribune comment: “Why do people continue to rebuild in the same area that are likely to flood? Why fight Mother Nature?”
Let’s dispatch those criticisms once and for all.
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