It is hard to believe that fifteen years have passed by since the “Flood of the Century” in April 1997. That flood was preceded by what was arguably the most significant blizzard to strike the state of North Dakota since the infamous blizzard in March 1966. Although the storm impacted Minnesota, the affects were felt the strongest in both North and South Dakota.
The Red River and tributaries over the southern basin were all rising rapidly in early April 1997 as warm temperatures in late March melted the heavy snow pack. During the first week of April, overland flooding was spreading quickly and Fargo Moorhead was beginning to be surrounded by water. Then for three days, April 5-7, two to three inches of rain, freezing rain and finally heavy snow fell on the region wrecking havoc at the same time so many were desperately trying to sandbag.
The blizzard had wind in excess of 50 mph and destroyed hundreds of electric poles leaving many without power for a week or more; yet, our problems that month had only begun.