Students may not know that while they may have jumped ship for warmer weather or endured three weeks with family, others had to stay in Fargo. The community had its ups and downs, seeing both victories on the field in Frisco and defeat against angry Mother Nature.
Snow and lots of it
Sheets of snow blanketed Fargo, eastern North Dakota and Western Minnesota over winter break, halting a lot of after holiday travel. The Associated Press reported the area received around 11-13 inches of snow overall.
In North Dakota, a no travel advisory was given by officials, according to CBS. North Dakota State closed Dec. 27 and 28 along with multiple businesses and the bus service. The Minnesota Highway Patrol alerted travelers to poor conditions in western Minnesota, and Highway 94 was closed. Three people died, including a driver in North Dakota.
The Grand Forks Herald, who has been naming blizzards for 30 years, dubbed this winter storm “Blizzard Alice” after Alice Brekke, who was the vice president of the University of North Dakota for 40 years before retiring in August 2018.
After only a few years of operation, the Starbucks in the Bison Block closed over break. There is still speculation over why the franchise location closed, but the company did announce in June 2018 that it would close around 150 stores because of density issues, according to Fortune magazine. Valley News Live reported that an employee they talked to said the location closed due to a dispute between management and the corporate office.
North Dakota’s sensible system
The North Dakota University Systems made a combined $5.3 million impact on the state economy during the 2017 fiscal year. This figure was given in a report from the department of applied economics and the department of agriculture and reported on by Inforum.com
The report stated, “In addition to providing education, the state’s universities and colleges create and support jobs and employment opportunities through research, extension and teaching activities. All these important services and products provide economic benefits, which enhance local and state economies.”
The report relied on a multitude of expenditures, including student spending, which topped out at $1.9 million.
The Red River will flow
Minnesota granted permits Dec. 27 for a river diversion project to protect Fargo from flooding, according to the Bismarck Tribune. The project includes a dam and a 30-mile channel.
Tom Landwehr, the commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), said the plan balances flood protection with public safety, but, “Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to build a large flood protection project without adversely affecting some people, and the Fargo-Moorhead diversion project is no exception.”
Projects proposed to fix Red River flooding face a multitude of roadblocks, and this endeavor is no different. After the opposition won a lawsuit in 2013, an injunction was imposed, halting construction of diversion projects. According to the Bismarck Tribune, opposition leader Nathan Berseth said it is “doubtful” the injunction will be lifted if the more than 50 conditions set by the DNR permit are not reached.