WDAY: The News Leader

Published March 14, 2010, 09:50 AM

Urgency sets in for 2010 flood fight

(WDAY TV) - Urgency has set in for the Red River Valley flood fight: the National Weather Service now predicts the Red to crest within the next six days. With the new numbers, the city of Fargo held an emergency meeting, and set final plans to start the flood fight tomorrow morning.

By: WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Starting tomorrow, sandbags will be distributed to neighborhoods and clay diking will begin. Then Wednesday through Friday, a push of volunteers will be needed to place sandbags.

As of now, the city does not plan to have businesses or schools close down to help. Officials say the coming early doesn't change much: saying they've been ready for this since last year.

These predictions show the Red cresting two weeks earlier than originally expected. Officials are confident the city will be protected to 40 feet by Friday evening.

"Years ago 38 would have been a big flood 38 to us is a doable flood that we can work through and we're going to put up some dikes now that will stay up more permanent so we'll have to do less as the next years come on.”

The National Guard will be arriving in neighborhoods on Tuesday. Also, President Obama approved a disaster declaration for North Dakota.

Fargo city officials will be holding daily meetings at 8:00 a.m. to assess flood efforts. Dike construction in the city dikes will start tomorrow.

The council awarded contracts Saturday to build dikes in Rose Creek, Timberline, and drain 52 by 64th avenue. Engineers say they wanted another dike to go up in North Oaks neighborhood, but after the recent rain, contractors can't get equipment behind the homes. This week will be crucial for getting enough sandbags filled and distributed and both cities are still asking for lots of help.

In Fargo, sandbaggers can take shuttles from the Coliseum to go to Sandbag Central. Volunteers can work from eight to eight, Monday through Saturday. In Moorhead, you can go to the Public Works Facility Sunday from noon to seven and all week from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

More than 400 volunteers filled 81,000 sandbags on Saturday, raising the total to 740,000 after two weeks of work.