Red River crests in Fargo well below original forecast
City uses only fraction of sandbags as water crests at just over 33 feet
The Red River reached its crest Wednesday in Fargo at a height well below what forecasters originally predicted.
The river crested at 33.27 feet Wednesday morning. The U.S. National Weather Service had previously predicted one of the worst floods in history for Fargo, but downgraded their forecasts in the weeks leading up to the crest.
The city prepared nearly 2 million sandbags, expecting water of up to 41 feet.
In the end, only 100,000 bags were used.
"We won another flood fight. We dodged another bullet, and if we overspent, that was because we were protecting to levels that never materialized," said Fargo mayor Dennis Walaker.
He said while some people may think they went overboard, he disagrees.
"That’s people in hindsight. Are they on the frontlines when they make these decisions? No, they’re not," said Walaker.
"Hindsight is fine. We have to go by the National Weather Service."
Walaker added the city is now trying to decide what to do with the leftover sandbags.
The Red River is not expected to crest in Winnipeg until late May, one of the latest crests since 1950.