This is part V of the North Dakota flood news aggregator. Click on these links forPart I(Tuesday),Part II(Wednesday),Part III(Thursday),Part IV(Friday),Part V (Saturday),Part VI(Sunday),Part VII(Monday) andPart VIII(Tuesday). There are lots of photos and video on Parts I, II, III & IV. I'm putting theNEWEST ENTRIES AT THE TOP.
3. Xacerbated (YouTube) -- Too many volunteers? (Really?)
2. JennaLee02 (YouTube)
1. WhiteHouse.gov -- President Obama discusses the North Dakota/Minnesota flooding in his weekly radio address:
Remarks of President Barack Obama
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Even as we face an economic crisis which demands our constant focus, forces of nature can also intervene in ways that create other crises to which we must respond – and respond urgently. For the people of North and South Dakota and Minnesota who live along rivers spilling over their banks, this is one such moment.
Rivers and streams throughout the region have flooded or are at risk of flooding. The cities of Fargo and neighboring Moorhead are vulnerable as the waters of the Red River have risen. Thousands of homes and businesses are threatened.
That is why, on Tuesday, I granted a major disaster declaration request for the State of North Dakota and ordered federal support into the region to help state and local officials respond to the flooding. This was followed by an emergency declaration for the State of Minnesota. And we are also keeping close watch on the situation in South Dakota as it develops.
The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency continue to coordinate the federal response. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is helping to oversee federal efforts and she remains in close contact with state officials. Acting FEMA administrator Nancy Ward has been in the region since yesterday to meet with folks on the ground and survey the area herself.
In addition, The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is assisting in the emergency construction of levees. The Coast Guard is aiding in search and rescue efforts while the Department of Defense is helping to move people and supplies. Members of the National Guard have been activated and are on the scene as well.
Hospitals and nursing homes in the area are being evacuated and residents in poor health or with special needs are being transported to higher ground. Teams from the Department of Health and Human Services are aiding in this work. And the Red Cross is in place to provide shelter and supplies for folks in need.
It is also important for residents in these states to remain vigilant in monitoring reports on flood crests and to follow instructions from their state and local leaders in the event that evacuations become necessary.
My administration is working closely with Governors John Hoeven, Mike Rounds and Tim Pawlenty. And I’ve been meeting with Senators Byron Dorgan, Kent Conrad, and Amy Klobuchar, as well as Congressmen Earl Pomeroy and Collin Peterson, to pledge my support. I will continue to monitor the situation carefully. We will do what must be done to help in concert with state and local agencies and non-profit organizations – and volunteers who are doing so much to aid the response effort.
For at moments like these, we are reminded of the power of nature to disrupt lives and endanger communities. But we are also reminded of the power of individuals to make a difference.
In the Fargodome, thousands of people gathered not to watch a football game or a rodeo, but to fill sandbags. Volunteers filled 2.5 million of them in just five days, working against the clock, day and night, with tired arms and aching backs. Others braved freezing temperatures, gusting winds, and falling snow to build levees along the river’s banks to help protect against waters that have exceeded record levels.
College students have traveled by the busload from nearby campuses to lend a hand during their spring breaks. Students from local high schools asked if they could take time to participate. Young people have turned social networks into community networks, coordinating with one another online to figure out how best to help.
In the face of an incredible challenge, the people of these communities have rallied in support of one another. And their service isn’t just inspirational – it’s integral to our response.
It’s also a reminder of what we can achieve when Americans come together to serve their communities. All across the nation, there are men, women and young people who have answered that call, and millions of other who would like to. Whether it’s helping to reduce the energy we use, cleaning up a neighborhood park, tutoring in a local school, or volunteering in countless other ways, individual citizens can make a big difference.
This is part IV of the North Dakota flood news aggregator. Click on these links for Part I(Tuesday),Part II(Wednesday), Part III(Thursday), Part IV (Friday), Part V (Saturday), Part VI (Sunday), Part VII (Monday) and Part VIII (Tuesday). There are lots of photos and video on Parts I, II, III, V and VI. I'm going to see if I can have the NEWEST ENTRIES AT THE TOP.
134. St Cloud Times -- Homeland Security ready to help 30,000 flood evacuees
133. KSJBam -- False Alarm Rattles Region [This story relates to the inaccurate information contained in an Emergency Announcement broadcast around the Fargo area in which it was suggested that there had been a call for a voluntary evacuation of Fargo. Various media outlets are calling for an investigation.]
132. Fargo Forum -- 58 teams patrolling dikes every two hours
131. Fargo Forum -- Napolitano: If worst happens, help is on the way
130. SurvivingTimes.com -- North Dakota: Floodwaters may cause thousands to flee homes, volunteers continue to enforce dikes
[L]et me give you just a quick rundown on the situation in North Dakota and in Minnesota. The White House is actively monitoring the impacts of the flooding in North Dakota and Minnesota. As you know, the President approved a major disaster declaration for the state of North Dakota on March 24th, and last night the President approved an emergency declaration for the state of Minnesota.
On the ground, the federal government continues to actively coordinate with state and local governments in both states to address the ongoing flood fight. This effort has been underway since late last week. FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Coast Guard, the National Guard, and other federal agencies, as well as the American Red Cross, have been -- continue the actively work with these officials to ensure their needs are being met.
Federal support is being provided up and down the Red River. Nancy Ward, the Acting FEMA Administrator, is on the ground currently in Fargo, and directly talking with federal, state and local officials to ensure that federal assistance is provided to support the response to the flooding. The President this morning talked with Governor Hoeven, Governor Pawlenty, and Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker today to discuss his concern for the residents of North Dakota and Minnesota, and to ensure that the states are getting the federal assistance they need to supplement any state and local efforts. Secretary Napolitano has been in contact with state and local officials to express her support, and she also briefed the President this morning on the latest developments.
This is important -- we cannot reinforce enough the importance for residents in both states remain vigilant in monitoring the reports of flood crests and to follow the instructions from their state and local leaders in the event that evacuations in their local areas become necessary.
And again, the President continues to be impressed with ongoing efforts of thousands of volunteers as they continue to work to protect their community.
108. CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS IN BISMARCK/MANDAN -- Volunteer Need: the U of Mary is preparing for 750 of Fargo's non-ambulatory nursing-home residents to be brought to the Field house at U of Mary. They would like volunteers ASAP to help with set up of the cots and resources. Especially health care workers, but not only those. Meet at the coffee shop/food center, "Chick's Place" in the Athletic Center. Between the Athletic Center and the Science Center. Pass on!
107. LA Times -- Fargo makes a last push before flood crests
105. Press conference call with Secretary Janet Napolitano. Napolitano says number one priority in the event of any possible evacuation should be your personal safety. She also noted you should have an evacuation plan, with a plan for where and when you will reunite with your family. She also noted that President Obama is not currently anticipating coming to North Dakota or Minnesota. She said it would divert too many resources that are needed for the flood fight effort. She also noted the President is watching the situation very closely. She has briefed him once on the matter today, and will do so again. I've got other notes from the call. I just need to figure out whether any of it's worth posting on. I'm sure some of the other media types will be writing about it soon enough.
104. They sent me the sign in information for a 3:00 p.m. (CDT) conference call with Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, so I'm signed in for that right now, waiting for it to start. Maybe they'll let me ask a question. If you have a suggested question, post it in the comments. But hurry.
103. Williston Herald (AP) -- Evacuated elderly Fargoans arrive in Bismarck [Note: I'm being told that "The Salvation Army person said they expect at least 1000 at the Civic Center. Once the Fargo folks arrive, the Salvation Army will serve food 24 hours per day and will need help doing so."]
44. YouTube -- from "y2kjohnson" -- 9:00 a.m., today -- "Backyard flood report 3/27/09. Current River level 40.5 feet. Previous all time record 40.2 in 1897. Predicted crestst [sic] is now 41.5 feet sometime tomorrow. Remaining height on our dike about 2 feet. Temps in the low 20s have slowed the rise of the river. Furniture was relocated from our basement yesterday."
43. Picasaweb -- Photos of sandbagging operation at the FargoDome
This is part III (Thursday) of the news aggregator. Click on these links for Part I(Tuesday),Part II(Wednesday), Part III(Thursday), Part IV (Friday), Part V (Saturday), Part VI (Sunday), Part VII (Monday) and Part VIII (Tuesday). There are lots of photos and video on Parts I, II, IV, V and VI. GO TO THE BOTTOM FOR NEWEST ADDITIONS, and work your way back up.
1. MSNBC -- Outside Fargo, flood battle minus the spotlight
2. Fargo Forum -- Fargo readies evacuation plan (with video)
3. Fargo Forum -- Latest: "We will defend every house," officials stress need for volunteers and urge vigilance in flood fight
4. Google (AP) -- Fargo, ND, officials to raise dikes as river rises
41. MSNBC -- Midwest prepares for record flooding "March 26: Residents in North Dakota and Minnesota are preparing for the worst as the Red River swells to record level. NBCs Kevin Tibbles reports from Moorhead, Minn."
42. CBS News -- Disaster declared in N.D. Flooding (video)
1. Bismarck.org -- Official "City of Bismarck" Website with information, call for volunteers, etc.
2. Bismarck/Burleigh is urgently requesting sandbagging volunteers at the Bismarck Civic Center. Volunteers should be at least 14 years old, wear work clothes and gloves, and bring a shovel and a water bottle. (From KFYRTV.com.) Park in the south parking lot. I think they said (on public radio) to enter in the Southeast entrance (entrance E-52), closest to Denny's.
3. KXNet.com -- North Dakota School Cancellation Announcements and Community Announcements
9. Google (AP) -- Ice jams make flooding worse around Bismarck
10. WZZM13.com (Grand Rapids, MI) -- Local volunteers help flood victims in North Dakota
11. DaveArntson.com (Photojournalist) -- Lots of great photos of the Fargo flood and sandbagging efforts
12. KXNet.com -- Bismarck Officials ask for sandbagging help (with hotline phone number 701-355-1579)
13. MyFox9.com (Twin Cities, MN) -- Red River at 34 feet, Volunteers head north
14. The ice jam north of Bismarck just broke. Hold on tight. The development north of Bismarck near Papa's Pumpkin Patch has just been evacuated. Kirkwood Mall is closed. Flash flood WARNING for south Bismarck:
AT 903 AM CDT/803 AM MDT...THE ICE JAM NORTH OF BISMARCK WAS REPORTED TO HAVE BROKEN. RAPIDLY RISING WATER LEVELS ARE EXPECTED DOWN STREAM OF THIS ICE JAM...INCLUDING LOW LYING AREAS OF BISMARCK AND MANDAN. FURTHERMORE...STORM DRAINS IN SOUTH BISMARCK HAVE BECOME OVERLOADED WITH WATER AND AS A RESULT HAVE CAUSED LOCALIZED FLOODING. SEE THE LATEST FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS AND STATEMENTS FOR DETAILS ON FLOODING IN THE BISMARCK AND MANDAN AREA
[I should note that callers are calling in to KFYR 550AM and saying the north ice jam is still in place. No need to panic?]
Now 10:36 am they are now confirming that the ice jam has not broken north of Bismarck.
15. They're reporting that police are going door to door in the "German street names" neighborhood in southwest Bismarck, telling people to be prepared to leave their homes.
16. Low lying areas in Mandan are dealing with a mandatory evacuation.
The Morton County Office of Emergency Management and the City of Mandan have issued a mandatory evacuation notice for residents in the Missouri River area south of the MDU Heskett Plant and east of 40th Avenue SE. Areas at risk include the Riverbend, Captain’s Landing, Bridgeview Bay, Marina Bay, Borden Harbor, Lakewood and 40th Avenue residential areas.
Eastbound Lanes of Memorial Highway Closing on West End
Eastbound lanes on the west end of Memorial Highway (the Strip) are being closed in order to enclose an earthen dike system for the Heart River. This is near the intersection of Memorial Highway, Main Street and Mandan Avenue south of Burger King.
This action is being taken per an agreement between the North Dakota Department of Transportation, the City of Mandan and Lower Heart River Water Management officials.
Traffic should detour to Main Street in Mandan or Interstate 94. Memorial Bridge remains open.
34. KARE11.com (Minneapolis - St. Paul) -- Residential dike breech forces rescues near Fargo
35. KQCD.com (Dickinson, ND) -- This is a link to all the NBC affiliate "Sky Spy Photos." They are photos submitted by people all over the Western North Dakota area (i.e. Bismarck, Dickinson, Minot, etc.) recently. This must be a very popular website. It's a horribly slow download. KFYR, etc., need to upgrade their server.
36. Fargo Forum -- Flood Update: Fargo makes final push to protect city; officials still asking for volunteers
Highway 1806 Closing for Blast of Ice Jam & Other Flood Updates
The Morton County Sheriff’s Department and Mandan Police Department have been informed by the N.D. Department of Emergency Services that they need to close Highway 1806 from 19th Street south to County Road 138 immediately so that experts can blast the ice jam. Residents in the area of the blast are being notified of the blast via the reverse 911 system. The blast is expected to occur between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Residents south of 19th Street and north of County Road 138 should stay away from exterior windows and move to interior locations should shock waves occur from the blast. More than one blast may be required depending upon results of the first attempt.
In other flood news, Ron Manchester of the Lower Heart River Management reports that Heart River’s water levels are receding.
41. YouTube --BiggerBlast -- This is the YouTube page for the company that's doing the explosives work on the Missouri River today
42. National Guard -- National Guard battles winter storms in five states
43. WDAY -- Obama meets with ND delegation on flooding
44. Marketwire (press release) -- Water Damage Company, Damage Control, Inc., Prepared for Flood Restoration in Fargo, Moorhead, and Bismarck
45. KFYR Radio -- If you live out of town or are at work and don't have a radio, but you want to listen to KFYR radio's broadcast over the internet, you can do that today. They don't normally stream their audio, but they're doing it today because of the flooding. So far today it has been a non-stop flood news and information show.
60. A bridge collapsed on Hwy 200 between Stanton and Pick City.
61. Townhall -- ND Mayor 'optimistic' after blast to clear ice jam
62. There probably won't be any more updates here for a few hours. If you see any new news online, please post a link in the comments. Please use this format: Source name, title of story and then the link. If you put the link first, it messes up the format for a while. Thanks.
63. President Obama met this morning with Senators Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan and Congressman Earl Pomeroy to get up to speed on the flooding in North Dakota.
I'm not sure what we can do here to help people around the state, but if anybody has anything to report or needs help or shelter or wants to volunteer, please use the comments to speak your mind.
As I type this, there's a blizzard going on out there (in Bismarck). There are two ice jams on the Missouri near Bis/Man; one north of town, one south. They're flying in explosives experts to try to deal with the ice jams. Parts of Bismarck -- Southport and [oops] Fox Island have been evacuated. The folks at the City are recommending that anybody who lives south of the Bismarck Expressway and West of Washington Street might want to move valuables out of their basement, and put a row or two of sandbags around their houses. Water is backing up into the south part of town because of the south ice jam. The powers-that-be are worried the north ice jam might break and send a bunch more water down to get further backed up by the south jam. It's nasty.
People are sandbagging like crazy in Fargo. The universities were closed (right?). People were using Facebook, among other things, to invite people to "sandbagging events." People are driving in to Fargo from all over to help with their sandbagging efforts.
They've started distributing sandbags in Bismarck and Mandan. Mandan is experiencing some flooding in low-lying areas. Here's a photo from Mandan:
Part of Linton is flooded. Washburn is recommending that people boil their water. Part of Mott is flooding. Part of Beulah has some water trouble. A bunch of rural courthouses were closed today, as were quite a few schools. After school programs closed early today. Lake Tschida is very near record water levels. It's just crazy out there.
Please, share your stories... Send me your photos...
I've been adding to the list of news updates all evening. I'm going to put a link to Flood Information right here -- KXMB -- because it has a lot of useful information, contact numbers, evacuation information, etc.
You may have seen my blog post on the ad in the Bismarck Tribune seeking reports of corruption in North Dakota. (If not, click here.) I expressed some concern about the ad. I had questions so I connected with the person behind the ad.
Here's our question and answer session:
NorthDecoder: Who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
ND Corruption Reporter: [The ND Corruption reporter indicated he's from Northeastern ND, identified himself to me, but asked that I not disclose here who he is. He indicated he has some concern for his personal safety. For the record, I had gotten a tip as to who he was before he told me, but I didn't tell him that. He probably knows now.]
ND: What inspired you to place the ad in the Bismarck Tribune? (Are you, by chance, the victim of some government corruption?)
NDCR: I had some dealings with corruption but a friend of mine is the reason I decided to get involved in this.
ND: Did you put the ad in any other newspapers or magazines? Any radio or TV ads?
NDCR: I put the ad in the Grand Forks Herald, Cavalier Chronicle, Bismarck Trib, and Walsh Cty Record. I haven't done TV ads yet, because I wanted to see how many stories I got from the newspaper ads. I have only gotten a few stories. I think its because people think saying something will come back to bite them in the ass. I don't want names of private individuals because I can't print them without getting sued. You can say just about anything about ELECTED OFFICIALS THOUGH.
ND: How many people have you heard from? How many stories have you been able to verify?
NDCR: I have only heard from about 3 people. I heard from one that I think is from the Gov's office or Atty Generals office who wanted to know who I was and I told them. I am sure the BCI and swat team will be at my door soon!
ND: Before you do your Corruption Report, will you do any independent verification of the stories people tell you? If so, are you willing to give an example or two of what kind of verification you're doing (generally or specifically)?
NDCR: Yes I will do some independent verification of the stories if I get enough to print. I can give an example of what kind of verification I am going to do when it happens. I have a regular job, so I have to do this at night. If someone does send a story, about the only way I can verify it is through court transcripts and affidavits I think.
ND: When and where do you plan to release your report?
NDCR: I was going to print a small tabloid type paper and deliver them to stores and gas stations and various places all over North Dakota. Not sure when.
ND: Are you planning to focus on any particular kind(s) of corruption?
NDCR: I have heard mostly stories about family courts and the corruption of judges and social services so I was going to focus on that aspect mostly. If it is one thing I hate, it is child abuse, and people that do the child abuse and the people in the courts, and social services that enable people to abuse children. NOTHING MAKES ME MORE ANGRY THAN PEOPLE ABUSING HELPLESS CHILDREN!
ND: I noticed your ad references "family courts" first. Do you have a special interest in family courts?
NDCR: I do have a special interest in family courts. I have a friend who had his children taken away from him by a corrupt judge and he never did anything to hurt the kids, but the judge told him that he can NEVER see or talk to his kids ever again! Gee, I didn't know that was legal. Oh yeah, it isn't but the judge let the order stand.
ND: I also noticed your ad doesn't include "state agencies," "city government offices" or "county government offices." Did you exclude those intentionally because you're not interested in corruption in those kinds of offices, or is there some other reason you didn't ask for those types of corruption? (I'm wondering if you're interested in pursuing reports of corruption in those types of offices.)
NDCR: Yes I am interested in it, but didn't really think about it when I put the ad in the paper.
ND: What about corruption in private businesses? Say, for example, a business that has a "cost plus" contract with the state and is cheating on what its costs are; are you interested in those kinds of stories of corruption?
NDCR: Iam interested in those kinds of corruption. I just didn't have any first hand experiences or stories of that type of corruption.
ND: Are people asking you to protect their anonymity? Are you offering to protect reporters' anonymity?
NDCR: Yes they are asking to protect anonymity and I will protect them. I will need to verify stories and I wouldn't print any names of anyone except Elected Officials. I can only use fake names or initials or fake initials.
ND: What kinds of assurances can (and do) you make to people who send their stories to you regarding anonymity? I'm thinking of a whistleblower whose job might be at risk if they are identified after you release your report and it becomes clear you've gotten inside information from a state or county office, or a business.
NDCR: I would have to make sure to show the person that sent the story to me gets to read it to make sure it is ok to print before it is printed. I would never want to jeopardize someones job, personal life, or safety for any reason. I think of the people that worked for WSI and went to the AG and said give me whistleblower status and he said he would and then they got fired. Another example of a criminal in power as far as I am concerned.
ND: Besides outrageous outcomes in family law cases, are you willing to share a "teaser" (before your report comes out) on some of the corruption that's been reported to you?
NDCR: Yes I will.
That's our Q&A exchange. I should note that I've edited exactly two things in this: (1) there was one typo [an extra letter "L" that I've taken out]; and (2) there was something that I assume was directed to me, personally, and I took that out.
Though I'm interested in seeing what comes of this, I have to admit I'm really not all that interested in hearing people's complaints about the outcomes in their divorce cases. I get enough of that in my job and in my personal life, so I'm not all that interested in those cases even if some of you are.
I got this in an email and decided to make an announcement for those of us in the Fargo area that are able-bodied
The flood forecast changed drastically yesterday with the raising of the projected river crest and changing the date of the projected crest from mid April to March 28th. If you look at your calendar you will see that the 28th is only a little over a week away.
So, what can you do? The City of Fargo will open Sandbag Central tomorrow at 8:00 AM and run through 8:00 PM and then reopen on Saturday morning and then basically run 24 hours a day until they have enough sandbags. So, the city needs sandbags, lots of sandbags, over a million sandbags.
Sandbags don’t fill themselves, so they need people, lots of people, not millions, but still lots. What they would like is people to come over to Sandbag Central to work 4 hour shifts to fill sandbags. It is hard, dirty, sweaty work – a lot like going to the gym, without the cost and fancy workout clothes. As an added benefit, the Salvation Army will serve up coffee to keep you energized.
So, what can you do? You can forward the request for help and information on to your associates and friends. You can organize your friends to have a sandbag filling party sometime this weekend at Sandbag Central – it can be fun! The contact information and parking information is listed below.
How To Volunteer
Volunteer Hotline - 476-4000 Call between 8 a.m.- 8 p.m.
All volunteers are asked to park at the Fargodome and take shuttles to sandbag headquarters. To make sure shifts are equally covered, volunteers are also asked to call the volunteer hotline, 476-4000, before arriving on site.
40 feet will break the '97 record, I moved up here immediately following the flood, but lived in SD, which was only less bad than it was here. Well...let's get moving!
I plan on helping out sometime on Saturday. Email me if you care to go with me then. (Adam.Blomeme@DON'TSPAMMEgmail.com)