River rising in Fargo

March 23, 2009 1:03:53 PM PDT
The Red River is already several feet above flood stage at Fargo, N.D., but with more rain in the forecast the National Weather Service says it's not expected to crest until Friday.

Flood stage at Fargo is 18 feet and the river had already topped 25 feet by this morning. The weather service says it could reach a record 40 feet by the time it crests.

Officials say a dike protecting downtown Fargo is being raised to about 43 feet while an emergency levee is being completed south of the city. They estimate the city is about 40 percent protected.

With an estimated 2 million sandbags needed to hold back the waters, officials have been making urgent pleas for more hands to fill them. High school and college students have been released from classes to help. A Fargo school spokesman says the students "are eager to help" and "ready to go."

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