Farm fields and low-lying areas were already under water, and several
roads remained closed. Severe weather also was forecast for Iowa,
west-central Illinois and Missouri.
The latest storms were expected to dump nearly 1.5 inches of rain on the
Red River Valley as sandbaggers and state and local officials shored up
flood control measures, hoping to prevent a repeat of the 1997 flood.
The river was 6.5 feet above flood stage in Breckenridge, Minn., and was
expected to crest at 19 to 20 feet. Earth moving flood-fighters added an
additional 2 feet to the 20-foot dikes around the town. The levees were
already 7.5 feet higher than flood stage.
"I have been waiting for this flood for months now, and I'm tired of
waiting," Breckenridge Mayor Cliff Barth told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Officials in Fargo, N.D. and Morehead, Minn., expect the river, which
flows north toward Canada, to crest at between 37 to 38 feet early next
week, just short of the record 39.7 feet four years ago. The water could
rise to 48 to 50 feet in Grand Forks, N.D.
About 300 volunteers filled more than 20,000 sandbags in Fargo.
The National Weather Service said 2 to 4 more inches of rain could
drench central Minnesota.
The St. Paul Downtown Airport was closed, and emergency crews placed 40,000
sandbags along the new riverfront park on Harriet Island.
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