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Friday, March 27, 2009

Fargo, ND facing epic flood 

Fargo, North Dakota is facing the highest levels of flood waters on the Red River that it has seen during its recorded history. Water levels have risen to more than one foot greater than they have ever been. The New York Times reports that, "The Red River is expected to crest on Saturday in Fargo, but it is then expected to sit swollen for days." It may get to two feet above normal, and temperatures are icy cold. Ice floes are contributing to the problem. No one knows for sure if the frozen sandbags will hold as well as unfrozen sandbag levees normally do.

It is a desperate situation. The New York Times said that more than 3 million sandbags had been filled in the last three days. The Red River is twenty-six feet above its normal level. The LA Times had this quote on the why, "You've had blizzard conditions across the state, following on the heels of recent rains," said Patrick Slattery, a spokesman for the National Weather Service. "The ground is so saturated, nothing else can soak in. There's nowhere for the water to go." President Obama has declared 34 counties and two Native American reservations federal disaster areas.

Photos and video here.

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