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Published April 26, 2013, 06:16 PM

Wahpeton area hits major flood stage

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- Water in the Wahpeton area has taken a sharp turn. Hitting major flood stage and jumping more than a foot and a half in the last day.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- Water in the Wahpeton area has taken a sharp turn. Hitting major flood stage and jumping more than a foot and a half in the last day.

City officials have kicked off last minute protection efforts after the unexpected rise.

Tom Richels- Wilkin County Engineer: "It was a pretty good jump for what we're used to."

It's one of the fastest melts this season, water now well over the banks in Breckenridge and Wahpeton.

And expected to crest around 15 feet.

Richels: "For awhile it was hard to see that because we thought a whole lot of this water was going into the ground, until yesterday afternoon."

Thats when it really picked up.

Mayor Cliff Barth- Breckenridge, MN: "We're hoping it doesn't get any higher."

Christina Johnson- Breckenridge Resident: "It was a lot lower and then yesterday it was like right up under the bridge."

If I would've been standing in this same spot less than 24 hours ago, the water would've been more than a foot and a half lower."

Richels: "It did catch us off guard."

The warm temperatures and fast melt, sending water quicker than expected.

Causing a last minute effort to put up a flood wall on Main Street in Breckenridge.

Richels: "The water came up about three feet here and came up over the street."

Moving the crest prediction up earlier too.

Brett Lambrecht- Richland Co. Emergency Management Director: "With the flows coming in now, it looks like it could be later today."

Barth: "Both cities are protected very well. We've got our diking and flood wall pretty much done."

Cities that both should stay afloat if the water stays under its 15 foot prediction.

Mayor Barth says sandbagging won't be necessary unless they get to that 16 or 17 foot mark.

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