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Red River at Fargo expected to hit 32 feet by Monday (video)

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FARGO – The Red River at Fargo is forecast to rise to 32 feet by Monday, 2 feet above major flood stage, according to the first deterministic river forecast issued today by the National Weather Service.

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The river currently stands at about 16.44 feet. Flood stage begins at 18 feet, and major flood stage is 30 feet.

The last flood outlook released by the weather service on April 17 predicted a 40 percent chance that Fargo could see a record flood this spring. The current record of 40.84 feet was set in 2009.

The deterministic river forecast, which goes out seven days, is based on current river conditions and the temperature and precipitation outlook.

Flood preparations kicked into high gear this morning with deliveries of sandbags to the Oak Grove neighborhood and the start of trap bag construction near Riverside Cemetery.

The trap bags will extend south along Fifth Street from the cemetery to the entrance of Fargo Country Club, roughly three blocks. The flood protection barrier is expected to be completed Wednesday.

Also today, construction will begin on clay levees at Lindenwood Drive and Oak Street North.

The melt is expected to accelerate later this week, when temperatures could approach 60 degrees.

At Sandbag Central, almost 300,000 bags had been filled as of early today toward the goal of 500,000 bags to augment the more than 1 million previously made.

Fargo is building clay levees to 44 feet and sandbag barriers to 43 feet.

The National Weather Service last week predicted the Red River mostly likely will crest between 39 feet and 41 feet, with a midrange of 40.3 feet. Forecasters cautioned, however, that the crest could range from 38 feet to 42 feet.

Fargo-Moorhead is preparing for what could be the fourth top-five flood in five years. The record 2009 flood crested at 40.84 feet.

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