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Published March 07, 2013, 09:35 PM

Sandbags from 2011 has Fargo prepared for flooding

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The chances of flooding along the Red River continue to look more and more like reality as the new flood forecast is released.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The chances of flooding along the Red River continue to look more and more like reality as the new flood forecast is released.

The high end is up just slightly from a month ago but chances for what's considered "major" flooding took another big bump.

According to the National Weather Service there's an 88% chance the Red in Fargo hits 30 feet. It was 79% last month.

The 5 percentile mark went from 37.8 feet, to now, 38.2 feet.

These numbers are being noticed. The city is getting calls from all over, people trying to sell trap bags and other flood fighting tools.

Unfortunately for those trying to sell, a mid to upper 30s flood fight is not what it used to be in Fargo-Moorhead.

It's just about guaranteed that you'll see 3rd street here in Moorhead go under water, that's the Memorial bridge right there, 3rd street underneath goes under at 24 feet, but other than those common sights we may not see much more action.

Fargo's flood fighting reinforcements are resting under these tarps, waiting to be called into action.

This is 750,000 sandbags saved from the 2011 flood.

Bruce Grubb, Enterprise Director: "Other than some frozen bags on top they all look like they're in really good condition."

Because of those bags and the improvements made throughout Fargo, sandbag central likely won't be open for businesses this spring.

Right now there's just a 5% chance the Red reaches higher than 38 feet. At 37 feet Fargo needs just 5,241 sandbags. Thirty-nine feet it bumps to 100,000 bags, still nowhere near the 750,000 in storage.

It's not until we get to 42 feet where a lot of bags become an issue. Forty-two feet is 1.1 million, 43 feet 2 million, 44 feet 3.5 million.

April Walker, City Engineer: "The bottom line with the bags for this year for the predictions were seeing so far is that we're in pretty good shape."

The biggest concern as of now is if we get rain while the river is in flood stage. At 18 feet gates close for free flowing drainage. That's when the lift stations come into play but they need a back up. The city will be bringing in large pumps that way if it rains the flooding won't be on the wrong side.

Ben Dow, Public Works Director: "If it rains while in major flood stage we got to keep from flooding.”

The main thing for people in the F-M area to remember is major flood stage doesn't mean major flooding. Mayor Walaker says he doesn't start getting nervous until it reaches about 35 feet.

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