Back in Fargo, Bittner takes inventory of the barriers. “There were some issues with height,” he says. “AquaFence is limited to a 4- to 5-ft height, and we had 3.8 ft by March. Hescos had some seepage problems on soft ground. TrapBags work better in soft ground, but you need a lot of equipment room to fill those suckers.”

Still, Bittner was glad to have the options. “You gotta do what you gotta do. If you wait too long, it's too late.”