Fargo-Moorhead set sights on second crestby Tom Robertson, Minnesota Public Radio,
Dan Gunderson, Minnesota Public Radio
Fargo, N.D.-Moorhead, Minn. — Moorhead city officials say they'll likely need several hundred thousand more sandbags to get ready for the Red River's second crest sometime in the middle of the month. Volunteer sandbagging efforts will resume on Wednesday in the city.
Meanwhile, the Army Corp of Engineers is building about nine miles of new contingency dikes around Moorhead, especially in neighborhoods closest to the river. That work is expected to be completed by Saturday.
Moorhead Mayor Mark Voxland said city crews are busy inspecting sandbag dikes to make sure they're ready for rising water.
"We're looking at all the primary dikes, those dikes along the river," Voxland said. "Those are our first line of defense. We want that as strong as we can. We have people out today and tomorrow, checking first of all the heights and then we're looking at how strong they are. If it looks like there's a problem, we're going to talk with those folks. We're going to get those beefed up."
The latest forecast from the National Weather Service shows there's a 75 percent chance the second crest will be just higher than the record-breaker set on March 28.
Officials in Moorhead want to raise dike protection levels up to 44 feet, where possible.
Sandbagging efforts will resume in Fargo on Wednesday outside the Fargodome. Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker said the city needs to produce about one million additional sandbags to build up dikes for a predicted second crest of the Red River.
Walaker said the goal is to have all the dikes raised to 44 feet by Sunday.
"Good Friday is a holiday in North Dakota so the schools, the kids could come and help on Friday and Saturday," Walaker said. "Sunday we'd like to take at least a half a day off and be thankful for what's been done."
Walaker said that on Wednesday he will ask the National Weather Service for updated information on the second crest. Walaker said the city must prepare for the worst-case scenario.