*My heart goes out to my brothers and sisters in Fargo. I have quite a few family members there. My thoughts and prayers are with you!*
North Dakota is in a race against time as residents try to shore up huge sandbag levees ahead of massive flooding expected to hit this weekend. Forecasters predict the Red River’s waters will crest at 41 feet by early Saturday, exceeding record levels set in 1997.
Along the river, residents engaged in a frantic battle against the fast-rising water and bitter cold. Water reached 35.6 feet in Fargo by midday Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. City officials said they’ll add another foot to the dikes — already 42 feet high — in an effort to withstand the river’s crest.
Mayor Dennis Walaker said the city is bracing for the worst. “We’re talking about levels never reached before by any stretch of the imagination,” he said.
A 41-foot crest in Fargo would be two feet higher than the record level of 39.6 in April 1997, when the area was struck by one of the largest and costliest floods in U.S. history. President Obama has already declared the state a federal disaster area.