Volunteers shoveled heaps of sand and carefully maneuvered around humming machinery Monday inside a warehouse dubbed “Sandbag Central” in Fargo, where officials hope to pile up 3 million sandbags as the eastern North Dakota city prepares for a third major flood in as many years.
Efforts are starting early to prepare for flooding along the Red River in Fargo and neighboring Moorhead, Minn. The National Weather Service predicts that spring snow melt will help swell the river over its flood stage, possibly breaking the record set in 2009 when floods caused an estimated $100 million in damage.
In 2009, the river was above flood stage for a record 61 days. About 100 homes in the area were damaged, and thousands of people were evacuated. The flood costs were estimated to be $100 million. Last year’s storm wasn’t nearly as severe, but forecasters say there’s about a 50 percent chance this year could be worse than 2010, and about a 20 percent chance the river could swell past its 2009 level.
The source article Fargo prepares for annual Red River flood fight was published February 14, 2010 by Washington Post .