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North Dakota's largest city prepares for major flooding

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Flooded Red River
Cars travel over the Northern Pacific Avenue bridge between Fargo, N.D. and Moorhead, Minn. in April 2013.
Dan Gunderson | MPR News 2013

North Dakota's largest city has declared an emergency and Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney is asking residents to help fill 1 million sandbags as the city prepares for major Red River flooding.

The National Weather Service says "significant" snowmelt flooding is likely this spring in the Red River Valley after last week's massive late-winter storm in the Midwest. The chance the river will reach major flood stage in Fargo has increased from 50 percent to 90 percent.

The neighboring cities of Fargo and Moorhead, Minnesota, experienced a record flood 10 years ago. The two cities have implemented several measures such as home buyouts and levees since then.

But Mahoney says there are still areas that could be vulnerable. Sandbag-filling operations begin March 26, and Mahoney is asking the public to help.