March 15, 2010 in Nation/World

Midwest cities prepare for rising Red River

Dave Kolpack Associated Press

FARGO, N.D. – North Dakota and Minnesota residents who fought off record flooding a year ago in a frantic one-week sandbagging effort were jolted Sunday by the prospect of doing it over again.

The latest flood forecast from the National Weather Service shows the Red River rising to 38 feet in Fargo by week’s end before leveling off. That would be 20 feet above flood stage and about 3 feet below last year’s record. The crest had been expected later this month or early April.

The cities of Fargo and neighboring Moorhead, Minn., have been filling sandbags for the last two weeks but hadn’t planned to hand them out until later.

“It’s go time now,” Moorhead city manager Michael Redlinger said Sunday.

“It’s last year all over again in terms of us having to do everything in the next six days,” Fargo city administrator Pat Zavoral said.

President Barack Obama on Sunday signed a federal disaster declaration for North Dakota, allowing state and local governments access to federal resources.

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