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Fargo stands 50-50 chance of major flooding

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Fargo stands 50-50 chance of major flooding
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

FARGO - Fargo stands a 50-50 chance of having a major flood of 35 to 36 feet, City Commissioners were told Monday as part of an update on spring flood preparations.

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The National Weather Service flood forecasts are worrisome, said City Engineer Mark Bittner.

"Every time we see it, it keeps going up," Bittner said. "I've never seen it start at the severe flooding level" before.

Flood stage at Fargo comes at 18 feet, with moderate flooding at 25 feet and major flooding at 30 feet, according to the weather service.

Bittner said he believes the flood crest prediction will rise. However, he said snow received Monday and expected today is within the weather service's flood forecasting model, which called for a colder and wetter March than average.

Senior Engineer April Walker said the city has 300,000 sandbags on hand and will provide them where there are identified needs, such as along the Red River or along drains.

Walker encouraged anyone thinking about buying flood insurance to do it now. Because there is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance can take effect, she said people may have but a week to buy a policy and have it in effect when the river is flooding.

"If you're not getting insurance today, you're almost too late," she said.

City Administrator Pat Zavoral urged anyone seeking answers on spring flooding to go to www.cityoffargo.com/Flood09.

The page also includes links to Southside Flood Control Project, including detailed north and south Fargo maps of preliminary Federal Emergency Management Agency's new 100-year flood plain, Walker said.

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