North Dakota Flood Preparations

Friday, March 20th 2009, 12:17 pm
By: News 9

Fargo is putting out a call for volunteers to help with sandbagging as it 
prepares for a Red River crest of around 40 feet a week from Saturday.

Mayor Dennis Walaker estimates about 1.5 million sandbags will be needed for 
Fargo and about 800,000 more for Cass County.

At a morning news conference, city officials said dikes will have to be built 
to 41 feet. Flood stage in Fargo is 18 feet, and the major flooding level is
30  feet.

Walaker said he got the news from the National Weather Service yesterday. He 
says the shock was not so much the crest but the fact that it was moved up to 
to March 28th. He says it puts a lot of heat on the city staff. The river
crest  had been expected in mid-April, which would give more time to prepare.

The threat is increasing due to a storm moving in from the Pacific by early 
next week. Walaker says it appears to be taking the same track as a blizzard 
that hit the area last week, but with rain instead of snow.

Downtown levies are going up in Fargo today.

Fargo officials have identified 13 neighborhoods in Fargo along the Red River 
corridor and five along the city's southwest side that need protection from 
overland flooding.

Sandbag operations are being set up in the city's utility center starting 
tomorrow. That initial sandbagging effort will last 12 hours, and then begin 
again on Saturday. At that point, sandbagging will continue around the clock.

If you can help, you are asked to call 701-476-4000 so the city can get an
idea  of how many people can help. Property owners who need help should call 

Cass County residents who need information can call 701-298-2370