FARGO - Fargo is now 95 percent protected from flooding up to 42 feet, but buttoning up the rest of the vulnerable spots around town won't come easy today, as up to 8 inches of snow and cold temperatures will make remaining sandbagging tougher, city officials said at a press conference this morning.
Meanwhile, as Fargo and Moorhead make their final preparations to take on a flood crest still expected to hit 40 feet on the Red River Saturday or early Sunday, other cities are in a wrestling match with the river.
Oxbow, N.D., found its sewer system overwhelmed this morning after its lift station failed. The National Guard is mobilizing and sending a pump to the town, officials said.
And Wahpeton, N.D., may have seen the Red already crest, but flood fighters had to contain a boil, or breached spot in one of the city's dikes Tuesday night.
Officials meeting this morning at Fargo's City Hall said they still need volunteers, especially adults, to help finish sandbagging, and to finish making the last of roughly 2 million sandbags needed to plug gaps in Fargo's dike and levee system and for emergencies.
"We have some areas we need to shore up," Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker said.
Sandbagging was halted overnight in Fargo so engineers could check the condition of the dikes and determine where more work was needed.
Sandbags were then prepositioned and work is expected to start again about 10 a.m., particularly in the south side neighborhoods of Oak Creek, Copperfield Court, Timberline and Fox Run, and along the Red at River, Hackberry and Harwood Drives.
There also is work to be done at the Fargo Country Club and the cemetery south of Interstate 94, and at Peterson Parkway North, city officials said.
Considerable work also needs to be done in the Silverleaf subdivision and along Drain 27 in southwest Fargo, though that is expected to be finished this afternoon, officials said.
Evacuation and other emergency contingency plans will be released Thursday, Fargo City Administrator Pat Zavoral said.