Vicksburg District team nears end of debris cleanup in North Dakota

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 23, 2009

FARGO, N.D. — A team from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Vicksburg District is nearing the completion of debris cleanup after record flooding in the Red River Valley.

At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Debris Planning and Response Team has spent more than six weeks removing temporary flood protective measures, including about 5 million sandbags and 66 miles of emergency levees.

“We’re up here doing a lot of work, but we’re doing it under the auspices of a federal mission, and it’s just plain awesome to see what thousands of volunteers were able to do in such a short amount of time and under such harsh winter conditions to protect their city,” said Mike Stewart, a Vicksburg District regulatory project manager and member of the team.

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The Vicksburg District supports all Corps’ Mississippi Valley Division debris-related missions, and the Red River Valley falls within the division. Team members deployed to Fargo in late April while flooding was still occurring in North Dakota. It is the team’s second mission since its formation in June 2008. Last fall, it aided in Hurricane Ike cleanup in southwest Louisiana.

Members expect to complete the cleanup and return to Vicksburg by mid-June.