Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker said after talks this morning with the National Weather Service, a Red River flood crest forecast of 37 to 38 feet is not a shot in the dark.
That may signal another slight reduction in the crest estimates that have been dropping over the past week.
"We're in excellent shape to meet the crisis of 2013," Walaker said. "I'm very confident."
The National Weather Service reports that some rural areas that had been dry, now have water covered fields -- the result of thawing clay soil.
Meteorologist Mark Ewens said water coming back up from soil that had dried is not unusual.
"We've seen it before; fields that were empty yesterday are now covered with water. There's still a fair amount of snowmelt to come. The temperatures are going to rise so nicely, the runoff will increase dramatically and rivers will take a jump," Ewens said.
Walaker acknowledged the city is responsible for building temporary dikes and levees to 40 feet in order to protect the city regardless of how high the water gets.
"My position is to be skeptical and maybe that has translated to the general public," Walaker said. "Our view, as far as flood crests are concerned is that we build to what they [National Weather Service] say. If it doesn't get there, that's a good thing not a bad thing. Anything beyond 24 hours is a guess, things can change and that's why flood forecast so dynamic can change."
It's estimated that water levels will rise on the Red River of 4 feet to 5 feet in a day with the warm temperatures forecast for this weekend.
Fargo city crews and about 1,500 high school students are spending the day building temporary sandbag dikes. The North Dakota National Guard will begin to build clay levees tonight.