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Moorhead, Clay officials say they're ready but crest is still among largest in recorded history

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MOORHEAD - Moorhead and Clay County officials say they're ready to fight the anticipated second Red River crest, which could rank among the five largest in recorded history.

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The Red inched up to 33.05 feet at 10:15 this morning. Forecasters say it could reach 38 feet by Friday, a level still nearly 3 feet below the record-setting crest of 40.82 feet on March 28.

"We're still looking at 38 feet, we're planning on 38 feet," said Moorhead Mayor Mark Voxland.

"It would give you about the fourth or fifth largest crest in recorded history."

The Minnesota National Guard, with 367 members stationed in Moorhead, began missions this morning in Moorhead, Georgetown and Oakport Township.

In other signs that the city and county are getting back to normal, officials said garbage collection will continue. Crews are beginning to repair flood-damaged roads in the county. And Moorhead's golf courses likely will be open by the weekend.

All of Moorhead's secondary dikes have been built, with 8.2 miles of new levees bringing the city's total to about 20 miles. Quick response teams are in place to address any breaches.

In addition, Vince Clark of the Federal Emergency Management Agency urged property owners with flood damage to call (800) 621-3362 to report losses.

Flood victims reporting losses must file with FEMA to be eligible for its services. Numerous government services also are available by visiting www.disasterasssistance.gov.

Those who reported damages to the city or county must still report them to FEMA to be eligible for disaster assistance.

In other flood-related news, Moorhead residents don't have to plug lower-level drains, officials said. If it becomes necessary, City Manager Michael Redlinger said the city will put out an advisory.

Officials also urged residents to leave early and plan for delays while travelling throughout the city, especially for rush hour traffic.

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