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Published April 24, 2013, 10:05 PM

City of Fargo plan for flood takes extreme turn

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - In North Fargo today contractors started filling TrapBags to protect the Edgewood Golf Course and neighbors in that area.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - In North Fargo today contractors started filling TrapBags to protect the Edgewood Golf Course and neighbors in that area.

And even as this work continues, with projected river levels going from 38-to-44 feet, the flood fight in Fargo and parts of Cass County took a drastic turn today.

Even though the river is projected to crest at a lower level than originally expected, city officials say they still plan on putting up levees around town including here on 2nd street. Work is expected to begin Friday evening and wrap up Sunday.

Mayor Dennis Walaker, City of Fargo: “Things are going well, probably too well. Normally at this time we'd see the river going up like this and it's not, so chaos has not started.”

And who knows if it will. The latest flood projections are significantly lower with levels between 38 to 40 feet. Either way, officials are prepared for the worst.

Dr. Tim Mahoney, Fargo Deputy Mayor: “We have more than enough sand bags. We have 1.8 million bags.”

All of those bags were made at sandbag central, a community wide effort. Students and adults each put in 20,000 hours of work. This Friday students, along with National Guard members, will spend the day laying 100,000 sandbags.

Dr. Mahoney: “The water is cold. If you slip and fall it's a danger. It's a hazard so we would rather have our dikes up by Friday.”

Originally more than 1 million sandbags were going to be placed around town, now down to just 100,000. With so many extra bags on hand, Mayor Walaker says they'll be saved and put on pallets for next year’s potential flood. Nothing will go to waste.

Jason Benson, Cass County Engineer: “While we're expecting the large flood event on the Red River the Sheyenne River and the tributaries along that area from Kindred to West Fargo and north to Harwood should still be expecting near record levels.”

Officials say they will continue to monitor the levels. At this point there could still be a lot of game changers.

More than 70 national guardsmen are already helping around the Fargo area. More are expected to arrive this weekend.

The Red Cross and Salvation Army say they are also prepared. Another flood meeting is set for Friday morning.

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