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Weather Service to Red River valley: prepare for record flood

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The latest flood outlook for the Red River valley includes high water estimates that are two feet above previous forecasts.

Now the National Weather Service says there's a 50 percent chance the river will reach 40.3 feet at Fargo and Moorhead. The chances of breaking the four-year-old record of 40.8 feet are put at 40 percent.

A Weather Service meterologist tells the Fargo Forum flooding there looks like it will kick into high gear late next week, with a crest coming the following week.

The Pioneer Press reports that would be the latest crest on record at Fargo-Moorhead.

Fargo is reopening its Sandbag Central Thursday. A city official tells WDAY the hope is to fill half a million sandbags in the next five or six days but notes that that will take hundreds of volunteers. Moorhead officials say they have 400,000 sandbags left over from the 2011 flood in storage. They say the city is ready for a water level up to 41 feet.

MPR reports Fargo is now planning a 44 foot sandbag dike to protect against 42 feet of water.

Here's the report from the National Weather Service's Grand Forks office.

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NWS: Small chance of "major" Red River flooding

This year's brown Christmas may have a silver lining for some living along the Minnesota and North Dakota border. The National Weather Service's (NWS) first flood forecast says there's only a small chance of "major" flooding along the Red River next spring. But city officials on both sides of the river say it’s still too early to tell for sure. The NWS will release its next flood forecast at the end of January.