When record-breaking floodwaters threatened Fargo, N.D., last week, state and federal officials urged Mayor Dennis Walaker to issue a broad, mandatory evacuation.
He, however, did the opposite.
"If we would have abandoned our city, the majority of it would have flooded," he says.
Between 2,000 and 2,500 people were moved from the city, Walaker says. Those who left included people who were infirm and children.
"There's just no way I could tell the people of the city of Fargo, after all the work they'd done, to evacuate," Walaker says.