Removal of temporary levees to start in Fargo-Moorhead

Moorhead builds a secondary levee
A levee along the Red River in Fargo, N.D. Contractors are expected to begin removing the levees over the coming weeks.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Army Corps of Engineers has approved the first contracts to remove temporary levees in Fargo-Moorhead. By the end of the week, contractors will start hauling away the tens of thousands of truck loads of dirt used to build the levees.

Army Corps of Engineers mission manager Jim Garner said the work will be done in phases.

"The first priority is to clean the streets," Garner said. "The sandbags will take longer because we'll clean the main travel routes in front of homes first, then we'll move in and pick up sandbags, then behind the houses."

Shelly Shafer, an emergency manager for the Army Corps of Engineers, said the first priority is to get streets cleared of clay levees and traffic back to normal.

"In some locations we may go 24/7 depending on the urgency and the situation each city has with regards to removing that material and getting them back to a normal way of life as soon as possible," Shafer said.

The Corps of Engineers said homeowners with questions about sandbag removal should contact their local city officials. Removing the tens of thousands of truckloads of dirt will take two or three weeks.

When the streets are cleared, contractors will begin to take down primary sandbag dikes along the river. That process is expected to take several weeks.

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