The bloated Red River might already have crested lower than initially feared, forecasters said today, welcome news for weary residents and others who had spent days piling sandbags onto dikes against an expected record flood. Despite the downward revision in the forecast, however, North Dakota officials still intensified their efforts to fend off the high water, deploying high-tech Predator drone aircraft.
They also called up more National Guard troops and asked residents to be on the lookout for breaches in levees. Officials cautioned that the city still wasn't out of danger because the river is expected to stay more than 20 feet above flood stage for several days, testing the strength and integrity of the hastily assembled dikes. The weather service said the Red River may already have reached its high point around midnight at 40.82 feet, but ice floes could cause periodic rises.