Residents in the Fargo-Moorhead area this week breathed a huge sigh of relief when flood-stage projections dropped. The National Weather Service's latest forecast indicates the Red River will crest at 34 feet early Wednesday, Forum Communications reports. That's well below the 40 feet Fargo had prepared for.
The bad news: All that sandbag-stuffing, dike-making and other flood preparations come with a cost: roughly $2 million, WDAY reported.
That's way less than some previous years, including $6.4 million in 2011 and $8.4 million in 2009, WDAY reports.
"It can be frustrating," Fargo city engineer April Walker, a flood control specialist, said Monday when asked about a flood fight that will be for naught, the Associated Press reported.
Mayor Dennis Walaker said it's cheaper to prepare for the worst than pay for the damage later. "Anyone who wants to make the decisions on us spending too much money or criticizing us for that, I think it's extremely early in the process since we haven't even gotten a crest yet. We have estimates right now that if we fail it would be in the billions of dollars if we fail."
Greg Gust, a weather service meteorologist, said forecasters "misjudged April's vagaries" in climate, the AP reported.