Fargo Scrambles to Prevent Flooding

Red River could see record overflow
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2009 4:54 PM CDT
Volunteers at Oakport Township north of Moorhead, Minn. filling sandbags Monday, March 23, 2009, as residents prepared for record flooding from the Red River.   (AP Photo/Dave Kolpack)
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(Newser) – Minnesota and North Dakota work crews joined volunteers today to build levees and sandbag walls as a storm threatened to cause flooding, Inforum reports. Locals living along Red River are bracing for as much as 1 inch of rain tonight from a storm expected to last 2 days, causing river flood crests of 37 to 40 feet for a week afterwards. Water spilled over the Red River in Fargo yesterday, reaching 21 feet, or 3 feet above flooding, the Seattle Times reports.

“We’ve never had a rise as rapid as they’re predicting,” said Dennis Walaker, mayor of Fargo. Volunteers, city workers, and National Guard soldiers are struggling to prepare the 1.5 million sandbags necessary to curb the floodwaters. In a bit of luck, meteorologists say the storm system will be followed by cold air, which should slow the melt of accumulated snow—and the subsequent Red River rise.
(Read more flood stories.)