Fargo to restart 'sandbag central', prepares for flood record

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Fargo is restarting its massive "Sandbag Central" operation to fill another 500,000 bags – to be added to about 1.3 million already in reserve – in preparation for what is feared could be record flooding, Forum Communications reported.

Mayor Dennis Walaker made the announcement at Monday City Commission meeting, Forum reported. City officials were hoping to reactive the operation by Wednesday. “Time, in my opinion, is of the essence,” Walaker said. “We do this with a certain amount of reluctance. It’s not always simple to get the sandbag operation running again.”

City officials are afraid that heavy wet snow that blanketed the Red River Valley could send the river to new heights, and they are vowing to be ready for a 43-foot crest, which is about 2 feet higher than the record set in 2009.

On Friday, after eights days, the previous Sandbag-Central goal of filling 1 million bags was reached ahead of schedule.

Forum reported that officials are concerned that heavy rains coupled with the melt of significant snow, plus a fast rise in temperatures, would leave the city with no time to raise its levees. They say they intend to be prepared for what could be one of the top five worst floods in Fargo history.

One engineer at the commission meeting said this flood season could be a "real monster" and there are about 15 days to prepare, WDAY reported.

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