Thursday, March 26, 2009

I Thought Fargo Was In Minnesota

Attention members of the media (both local and national). It has recently come to my attention that geography is not a subject of emphasis at J school.

So please pay attention to the following. Fargo and Grand Forks are both cities in North Dakota on the Red River. However, they are about seventy miles apart and are quite separate and distinct municipalities.

While it is true that there was some flooding in Fargo in 1997, the city that was the site of devastation of almost Biblical proportions (fires, floods, etc.) was Grand Forks. The city that currently is being most threatened by spring flooding is Fargo. They are not--I repeat NOT--the same place and I would appreciate it if you could try to manage to keep that straight in your reporting.

Don't even get me started on the whole University of North Dakota--North Dakota State University thing either.

UPDATE-- Rick e-mails to also remind people that the Red River flows North. That's why Fargo's high crest is predicted to be reached on Saturday, while it Grand Forks it won't occur until sometime next week:

The predicted Red River crest range for Grand Forks has gone up. Again.

Wednesday's National Weather Service numbers said Grand Forks is expected to crest between 50 and 53 feet. Two days ago, the range was 48.5 to 52.5 feet. The prediction has risen steadily because of rapid melt and more moisture.

The latest bump was because of the precipitation of the past two days. The combination of rain and snow resulted in widespread precipitation of one-half to 1 inch in the region.

"The path of the storm was right through the heart of the valley," said Dan Riddle, a weather service senior meteorologist.

The crest at Grand Forks, protected to 60 feet, could come as early as Monday. When the crest does arrive, it will stick around.

"Grand Forks will be staying at major flood stage for at least a week," said Mark Frazier, weather service meteorologist.

The record crest in Grand Forks is 54.4 feet in 1997. The fact that the city is now protected to sixty feet should provide some measure of comfort to its residents, although I'm sure that they're praying hard for dry weather in the week ahead.

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