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ND faces flooding

Spring flooding is unfolding in the Red River Valley and is expected to worsen, especially in North Dakota.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | April 1, 2006

Spring flooding is unfolding in the Red River Valley and is expected to worsen, especially in North Dakota.

Wahpeton and Abercrombie were most at risk for flood damage, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency regional reports. Fargo - where about a dozen homes were considered in a flood impact zone this weekend - has declared a citywide flood emergency. The city made 200,000 sandbags available for residents in the areas susceptible to flooding, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was helping to construct emergency dikes in low lying areas.

Mapleton could also face damage from rising floodwater, and Harwood was on flood alert as well.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the Red River at East Grand Forks. The river has a 28-foot flood stage, and it is anticipated to crest at 47 feet on April 7.

Rainfall, combined with rapid snowmelt, has caused both overland flooding and rising rivers across the southern Red River Valley area.

The ground is saturated, reported emergency management officials. A large moisture system of rain and snow moved over eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota on Friday, and more rain was predicted for the weekend.

The northern Red River Valley area could see flooding in a week or so, said emergency management officials.

After heavy winter snow accumulation, the region has seen sudden warm temperatures. Temperatures are going to stay above freezing, forecasters said, which will worsen runoff this week.


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