Valley City  (CSi 11-1-19)  Valley City Administrator David Schelkoph reported Friday that  the outflow from Lake Ashtabula was to be reduced to 2500 cfs by the end of Friday.

Valley City will see a lower river level approximately 7-8 hours after the dam reduces their output.

He says, if there are no significant inflows between the lake and Valley City, the river should be around 12 feet.

Nearly three weeks of river flows have been higher than 12 feet above flood stage.  High water at one point was 15.2 feet above flood stage.

He reminds residents that Valley City was ready for 16 feet above flood stage with flood protection built to 18 feet for insurance.

Schelkoph adds that he  will advise the City Commission that the state of emergency should be lifted when two things happen:

The river falls below 12 feet below flood stage

The Lake is at or lower than 1266 feet.

He adds, that officials are still waiting on the lake, but the water level, should drop enough soon, maybe as early as late next week.


Valley City  (CSi)  Valley City officials met Monday morning (Oct 28, 2019) for discussions on the river watch in the city.

City Administrator David Schelkoph says, discussion items included:

On the topic of opening Viking Drive, the city will look at the river flood stage Tuesday, but if the river is below 13.9 feet the Public Works will schedule the removal of the flood wall on Viking Drive, this week.  Maybe as early as Tuesday.

The Corps reduced the flow from the river starting late Sunday.  The river will be at 13.5 starting Monday and will stay there for some time.  City storm sewer pumps are still in place and monitored by crews 24/7.  This will continue until the river gets below 12 feet above flood stage.

Schelkoph says it looks  like at least a week of 13+ feet above flood stage.  Water levels in upper watershed is still high but constant.  Baldhill Creek is still coming down 807 cfs.

On the water pumps throughout the city,  he says, at 13+ feet the city needs to monitor the 20+ pumps.  The City will monitor the river gauge over the next two weeks and start to remove the temporary pumps when the openings into the river begin to clear.  This could take as long as 2-3 weeks.

If significant rains happens the city could easily reverse the current status.

Schelkoph recommends before those actions take place, to:

Make sure the lake level is back to normal and he river level is under 12 feet above flood stage.

When these two things happen he recommends to the City Commission  inform Barnes County and North Dakota to know the city is  no longer facing an emergency.



Valley City  (CSi)  At the 9-a.m. Wednesday, October 23, 2019 Valley City meeting, concerning water levels, along the Sheyenne River, and at Lake Ashtabula, Scott Tichy with the Corps of Engineers at Baldhill Dam reported that inflows to the Lake have decreased as of Wednesday morning, down from 3800 cfs, to 3600 cfs, as the Lake level continues to drop.  The release as of Wednesday morning was 3410 cfs, with the Lake level at 1268 feet.  He said the current release is anticipated to stay at that rate, to continue to reduce the Lake level.

On Wednesday morning the Sheyenne River level through Valley City was under 15 feet, with a slow drop.

He said officials will determine either later Wednesday or Thursday if reducing the Baldhill Dam  discharge will be able to happen.

He added that the colder temperatures are helping to slow the snowmelt in the basin, north of Lake Ashtabula, and slow the inflows.

City Administrator, David Shelkoph said, if, the river level were to reach 20 feet above flood stage the City of Fargo committed sending 10,000 sandbags to Valley City.

He pointed out that the clay dikes in Valley City that have been built to 18 feet will stay through the winter months.

The city and KLJ will determine when to reopen Viking Drive and remove the  flood wall, after re-evaluating the high water situation, later  this week or early next week.

Schelkoph said unless the current flood status changes, the city is not anticipating holding additional daily water/flood meetings at 9-a.m.  He added the high water, watch will continue, as the city partners with the National Weather Service, The Corps of Engineers, and Barnes County Emergency Management to re-evaluate the scenario on a daily basis until the flood threat ends in Valley City.


Valley City  (CSi)  At the Special Session on the Valley City Commission Tuesday morning at City Hall, during the daily river watch meeting, Scott Tichy with the Corps of Engineers at Baldhill Dam reported that due to less rain fall on Monday than forecast, the release from the dam was holding on Tuesday at 3,410 cfs.  The inflow at 3,800 cfs.

He said rainfall in the upper basin water shed moisture that flows into Lake Ashtabula, on Monday was recorded at .06 inches, in Valley City at .15 of an inch. He said on Tuesday morning the Sheyenne River at Valley City was at just over 15 feet above flood stage, about 16 feet anticipated to hold for awhile.

He said the Corps is not planning to increase the dam release Tuesday, or Wednesday to the projected 4000 cfs based on the lower than expected rain event totals on Monday.

City Administrator, David Schelkoph said at 15 feet above flood stage the Sheyenne River in Valley City has officially entered into the Minimum Flood Stage area.

He reminded resident that the city is prepared at any time to respond to a river level of 18 -20 feet above flood stage.   If the river level reaches 18 feet above flood stage, a two foot, freeboard will protect to 20 feet.

He reminded resident to discharge sump pump water outside in the storm sewer, and NOT in the floor drain, which enters the sanitary sewer system and further stresses the sewage lift stations capacity.

He added that the city is purchasing additional pumps to address street flooding.  Anyone seeing problems with water in the streets reaching a high level should call the Valley City Emergency phone number at 845-0380, available 24/7.

He said individuals have been seen, driving vehicles atop the levees in the city.

He urges people not to drive on them, causing damage, and possible injuries.

The 9-a.m. river watch meetings are seen live on CSi 68 followed by replays, and will continue each morning this week from City Hall in Valley City.



Valley City  (CSi)  Valley City Officials held a Public Meeting at 9-a.m., Monday October 21, 2019, at City Hall updating residents of the present flood fight.  On Monday Morning, the Sheyenne River Level above flood stage was 14.85 feet.  The in flow at Lake Ashtabula Monday morning was 3900 cfs, discharging 3370 cfs  At 9-a.m., the lake level was at 1267.75 feet.

At the meeting, led by City Administrator, David Schekoph, he stated that officials are prepared for a Sheyenne River level at 16 feet above flood stage, as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plan to ramp up releases from Baldhill Dam to 4000 cfs on Wednesday, this week, and projected to be held there the rest of this week.

He says that puts the river at “moderate flood stage.”  Major Flood Stage is at  17 feet.

At Monday’s meeting, Schelkoph said Valley City is better prepared to fight floods, based on data from previous flood fights, along with permanent flood protection measures, and temporary clay dikes.

He added that NO sandbags are need at a level of 16 feet above flood stage.

He said the city is prepared to go to 18 feet above flood stage, “right now.”

At 20 feet above flood stage, 7,000 sandbags would be needed.

At 18 and a half feet, water comes into Chatauqua Park, City Park is closed, along with the ring dike at VCSU near Foss Music Hall.

At 20 feet above flood stage, 10,000 to 12,000 cubic yards of clay would be needed for protection, including two feet of “free board,” above 18 feet.

Additional water pumps are anticipated to be added.

Anyone with information on street flooding should call the City Hall emergency phone number at 845-0380.

City reminds residents to discharge dump pumps INTO THE STREET,  NOT into floor drains which empties into a puts additional stress on the Sanitary Sewer System, sewage lift stations.

On Monday the lift stations were operating at 67-70 percent capacity.

Valley City officials will hold flood update meetings each day at 9-a.m. at City Hall, through Friday Oct 25, 2019.

All meetings are shown live on CSi Cable 68, followed by replays.



Valley City  (CSi) The National Weather Service (NWS) has upgraded their flood projections for Valley City and the Sheyenne River.

The NWS predicts that as early as Friday this week Valley City will hit just under 18 feet flood stage.  After discussions with Scott Tichy, Lead Park Ranger for the Army Corps of Engineers at Lake Ashtabula, city staff, and the Mayor, city officials on Monday said  pending rainfall amounts and  where the rain will fall, the city should wait until today (Monday) to react to the news from the NWS.  After everyone has a better understanding on how much water the Sheyenne River system has received adjustments to the flood plan to protect the city for the new flood gage estimates will be made.


From Valley City….  Water Watch Update, meeting from Friday Oct. 18, 2019.

Beginning Monday October 21-Friday October 25, Valley City will provide daily updates at City Hall.  CSi Cable 68 will provide updated information from City Hall, at 9-a.m.

This weekend the City will only call for meeting if downpour rain event occurs.

General Update:

Protecting to 16’ with 2 feet of freeboard. Public seeing water in basements. NOAA projections to just under 15’ but based on correspondence with Corp protecting to 16’. Schelkoph expects lower local inflows are lessening from the snow event. Projections for lake inflows over the next 2-3 weeks: Army Corp predicts lake to be within 1’ of capacity.

Contractors: No contractors to be hired at this point. Can be re-evaluated after rainfall this weekend. Working to identify available contractors/equipment should they be needed (only if needed projection changes to 16’ flood prep.). Hatcher inquired if farmers able to help with trucks & pay loaders. Andersen stated needs licensed & insured trucks. Andersen expects between 15-20 trucks and drivers available.
18 pumps have been placed to move storm sewer system to river. If there is water on street, please contact VCPW or 911 emergency.

Dikes in progress:
• Chautauqua Blvd/Monte Johnson location – will take to 18’ (to ensure 2’ of freeboard). Clay is being installed now.

Dikes/Locations requiring follow-up:
Skate park – about 1’ low & needs clay as cement at park is 17’.
West side of Viking Bridge & to north – grass is 1’ lower than 18’. 50’ stretch of clay needed (across from Duane Magnuson home). Schelkoph directed fix before end of business today.
Viking Bridge/Reflective Closures
Bullpen opening – shot at 17.5’. Heath recommend plug hole at opening. One/two loads of clay needed.
4th Street SW – For Riverside Apartments.  Width of dike to be reviewed as it is thinner than rest of dike. Heath will review. Schelkoph asked for base and mark 18’ and only fill to needed amount.

Interstate ROW ditch by Woodland Park– A lot of water indicated.  In past, this had been county area to maintain. A pump will be placed.

Goal to keep roadway open.
15th Avenue SW – Draining fine.   Close Friday and installing pump.
West of Foss Hall (VCSU) –  Reviewing if the gate is still in place and/or status.
Harvey Lerud Bridge –  No observed issues on Thursday.  A review is recommended. Gage instructions to review at 14’.
Main Street/Walk Bridge – Good to 17.5’.

Areas Reviewed; No follow-up now:
Burchill on Riverview Drive – Ground opening for cement is at 16’. Steel gate is installed to elevation to 19’. No threat to rest of neighborhood,  No review of structural integrity.
Woodland Park & Morehouse Home – The cutout to river has been reviewed, and good to 20’. City is installing a pump to reduce the water level along Interstate and Woodland Park.

Notes for future events:
Floodwalls installation –
To review if shorter floodwalls can be installed.
Purchase tool to help install planks
Need to create “spare parts” kits (extra bolts, etc.) – current system only has what is needed for each site.

Watch basements; City is prepared to 16’.  Reminder: no sump pumps pumping into sanitary sewer. The public needs to be extra diligent to basement issues due to length of theevent.

Barnes County Update:
Possible declaration for flood emergency for state from governor’s office next week. If no federal emergency declared, local responsible for bills due to state agencies. City share 85% if federal emergency declared.

Old 10 by Hobart is closed and Sheriff’s Department is issuing tickets.

Upcoming Meetings:
Monitoring via on-call + daytime monitoring.

Over weekend, will only call for meeting if downpour event. If pump fails, call 845-0380.

Next meeting: Monday at 9:00 AM, and will meet Monday – Friday week of October 21