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From left, meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House West Wing on Monday, are Alex Daniels, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; President Barack Obama, Jim Carroll, Louisville (Ky.) Courier Journal; Kevin Miller, Bangor (Maine) Daily News; Andrew Barksdale (back to camera), Fayette (N.C.) Observer; Janell Cole, Forum Communications Bismarck Capitol Bureau, and Robert Swift, Scranton (Penn.) Times and Tribune. White House photo.

Obama says flooding serves as warning

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Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Barack Obama acknowledged the current flood emergency in the Red River Valley on Monday, and warned that global warming could lead to similar disasters in the future.

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Considering how bad the flooding is now in North Dakota, imagine what it could be if global warming exacerbates the issue, Obama said.

"I actually think the science around climate change is real. It is potentially devastating," said Obama, who sat down Monday afternoon for a sit-down interview with six hand-picked journalists from around the country.

"If you look at the flooding that's going on right now in North Dakota and you say to yourself, 'If you see an increase of 2 degrees, what does that do, in terms of the situation there?' that indicates the degree to which we have to take this seriously," he said.

Obama talked about flooding while answering a question about North Dakotans being concerned how a "cap-and-trade" greenhouse gas reduction policy could hurt the state's coal and power-generating industries.

Gov. John Hoeven has asked for an expedited presidential disaster declaration because of the rapidly developing flood emergency in the state.

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