Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fargo dikes hold as Red River nears crest

Rod Nickel in Reuters: The flooded Red River moved within inches of its crest at Fargo, North Dakota on Sunday, but dikes of earth and sandbags kept the water from causing major damage, officials said. The city had no reports of damage to homes or other properties as the river reached nearly 37 feet on Sunday morning, with all dikes in good condition, said Fargo city spokeswoman Theresa Orecchia.

"The mood here is of wait and watch," Orecchia said. "No relief yet. We can't let our guard down."

The Red River valley, which straddles North Dakota and Minnesota, is an important spring wheat and sugarbeet growing area. Flooding this year came about two weeks earlier than last year, when flooding prevented farmers in the valley from planting on 464,000 acres -- mainly corn, wheat and soybeans. The Red River reached a record of nearly 41 feet last year at Fargo, the valley's largest city.

The river is forecast to reach its crest of 37 feet in Fargo early on Sunday afternoon, touching its fifth-highest level in 100 years. The Red River is not expected to exceed that level again this spring, but snow melt and the release of water from reservoirs could swell levels in some of its tributaries, Greg Gust of the U.S. National Weather Service said….

The marquee of the Fargo Theater in Fargo, North Dakota, shot by afiler, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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