Page last updated at 23:28 GMT, Saturday, 28 March 2009

Eyewitness: Flooding in Fargo

Thousands of people have evacuated their homes as a result of flooding in North Dakota.

Here residents of Fargo, which has been badly affected by the rising waters of the Red River, describe how they have been trying to protect their homes.

North Dakota residents affected by flooding
North Dakota residents are trying to keep back the flood waters.
This is the story of how I tried to help my friends.

Alan and Angie Kallmeyer live five miles south of Fargo, fairly close to the river.

We have been fighting for their house for the last 5-6 days. We put sandbags out, plastic, out, and then the waters rose and things became critical. We put more sandbags out but the waters kept rising.

My home in Fargo is on higher ground but I am behind a levee that is in danger. It is holding right now. But last night the authorities told us they wanted us to start evacuating our neighbourhoods

Rob Olson filmed his friend's neighbours being rescued

They were worried the levees would break.

There are sandbags around our home now. We are anxiously watching the levee that is under great strain.

I've been through this before. But this is the worst time.

I took video of the people who live just 300 feet from my friend's home. They could not keep their dykes high enough and had to be evacuated.

It's crisis management. It's difficult because many people have lost their homes.


Alan and Angie Kallmeyer, Fargo, North Dakota
Alan and Angie Kallmeyer have been trying to protect their home

We are breathing a little easier now. We are holding our own. The water at our place crested around midnight Thursday night.

Our neighbourhood runs right along the river and there are probably about 20 houses or so along this subdivision. There are only three of us left. All of the other houses are flooded out. It has been very dramatic and very stressful.

Now it has actually started to recede a bit and has taken the pressure off the dyke. With the water level going down, our pumps are able to keep ahead the seepage from the dyke.

We are feeling relieved now.

Some of the flooded homes may be saved but many of the houses had water on the main floors and so I suspect that many of those homes might get bought out by the federal government.

We had a big flood here in 1997 and there were many more homes at that time. Those homes that sustained major flood damage were bought out. Some of those won't be worth the cost of fixing up.

Our neighbourhood is becoming smaller because of the floods.

We're very vulnerable. We never expected to see a river level cresting this high. It came up so quickly - and fortunately our house is just a little bit higher.

Here two feet makes a really big difference.

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