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Published March 21, 2013, 06:07 PM

Flood fight is on as new forecast is released

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - With the new flood forecast today, the city of Fargo immediately jumped into flood fighting mode.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - With the new flood forecast today, the city of Fargo immediately jumped into flood fighting mode.

It will take more than 1 million sandbags to protect neighborhoods from rising water.

When the last flood prediction came out two weeks ago, the city thought it would need about 100,000 sandbags.

Fast forward to today, and that number is 10 times higher, at 1.1 million sandbags. But city leaders say they're ready for it.

2009, 2010, 2011, and now. At least we've had plenty of practice.

Mayor Dennis Walaker, Fargo: "You have to understand what impact it has. Not only on the people that work for the city, because everything has to be set aside while they accomplish these other initiatives."

Fargo City leaders laid out their flood fight plan after learning the latest outlook from the National Weather Service.

Tim Mahoney, City Commissioner: "Starting today, we're going full-boar to prepare for this. It's higher than the Mayor and I originally thought, but there is more snow out there."

At-risk neighborhoods like Oak Creek, Harwood Groves, and Belmont Park will need 1.1 million sandbags to stay dry.

The city already has 750,000 stockpiled.

Getting 500,000 more means Sandbag Central, closed since 2011, will open again April 3rd.

April Walker, City Engineer: "We're going to be looking at potentially demolishing some of the houses we own and doing things to try and reduce the sandbag count as we move forward."

City leaders growing tired of this process year after year stressed the importance of passing a flood diversion plan.

It has been in the works for years, held up by opposition and uncertainty.

Walaker: "The only solution to this process is very simple: a diversion has to go."

Many factors like snow and rain go into what makes the final crest, but there is a silver lining here.

Remember that drought back in the fall? The soil is very dry right now, Walaker says when the snow starts to melt it could soak up a lot of that moisture and lessen the impact of the flood.

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