Fargo outlines plans for sandbagging

"Spider" machine
Volunteers operate sandbag central in Fargo, N.D. on Wednesday, April 3, 2013. Police will begin escorting flatbed trucks with sandbags into Fargo neighborhoods on Tuesday.
MPR Photo/Nathaniel Minor

Fargo will start building sandbag dikes in backyards next week to prepare for a possible record Red River flood.

Crews will start delivering 1.3 million sandbags to neighborhoods on Tuesday, and volunteers will start building dikes on Thursday. Dike construction is expected to take about four days.

Mayor Dennis Walaker says preparations for the fourth flood in five years are going well.

"There's nothing wrong if the water doesn't get there," Walaker said. "We need to be prepared."

Fargo Deputy Mayor Tim Mahoney said the city must prepare for the worst-case scenario.

River height
This year's Red River of the North flood at Fargo-Moorhead is shaping up to be the latest on record. This graphic from the National Weather Service shows the river's crest in recent floods.
Courtesy National Weather Service

"Engineers have everything ready to go, we're going into the neighborhoods and you'll see a lot more activity next week," Mahoney said.

The National Weather Service says the Red River will reach a level between 38 and 42 feet. A more specific forecast will be released when weather conditions warm and the Red River starts flowing.

The record river level in Fargo is 40.8 feet, set in 2009.

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