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Flood worry shifts away from Fargo

FARGO, N.D. – The Red River Valley flood fight shifted Sunday from the cities of Fargo and Moorhead, Minn., to rural areas north of the north-flowing river, which crested Saturday night in Fargo at its fourth-highest level in recorded history.

Fargo officials said the metropolitan area appears to be in good shape, but they urged residents not to travel outside the city. About 60 miles of roads were closed in Cass County, where Fargo is located, and another 10 miles of roads were washed over, officials said. Interstate 29 north of Fargo was closed for about 25 miles.

Some Red River tributaries were at record levels.

“In the southern part of the valley, it’s quiet,” Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker said Sunday. “In the northern part of the valley, especially in Cass County, they’re having extreme problems.”

About 425 National Guard members were on duty in Cass County and were ready to help with evacuations if needed, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said Sunday.

The National Weather Service reported that the river crested in Fargo at 38.75 feet. The only higher floods were 40.84 feet in 2009, 39.72 feet in 1997, and 39.10 feet in 1897.