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GF, EGF officials hope to open the Point Bridge today

The Red River appeared to be holding steady or falling as far north as Drayton, N.D., and at every point south by late Sunday, with the only crest still to be met at Pembina, N.D., later this week.

The Red River appeared to be holding steady or falling as far north as Drayton, N.D., and at every point south by late Sunday, with the only crest still to be met at Pembina, N.D., later this week.

With no significant precipitation forecast for this week, no flooding problems are expected, according to the National Weather Service and local emergency officials.

In Fargo, city leaders are talking cleanup, not flood.

City officials in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks hope to open the Point Bridge today, the third and remaining bridge linking the cities over the Red.

Despite being one of the few places where floodwaters still are rising, Pembina County doesn't appear to be having any problems handling it, said a sheriff's dispatcher Sunday.

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Many rural roads remain closed across the northern valley, and some have been damaged.

But the Red's crest appears to be moving north of Drayton, slowly but surely, according to the weather service.

At Drayton, the Red was expected to rise to near 42.2 feet Sunday, according to the weather service. It went from 42.1 to 42.19, then down to 42.14 before rising barely to 42.15 by 7 p.m. Sunday. The weather service expects it to stay near that level for a day or two more.

The Red in Grand Forks-East Grand Forks fell below 43 feet Sunday afternoon on a steady slope down to 40 feet by about Wednesday or Thursday, according to the weather service. It was at 42.78 feet at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, down from the crest of just under 46 feet a week ago.

In Oslo, the Red remained at 37.2 feet most of Sunday, down from 37.6 feet on Friday.

At Pembina, the Red rose from 48.3 feet Sunday morning to 48.5 feet by 5 p.m. It's expected to slowly rise this week, cresting near 51 feet about Friday.

In Fargo, the job by the end of this week will be cleaning up after a shorter-than-expected flood fight, city officials told The Associated Press.

The clay used in dikes will be returned to the five "borrow pits," from which it was taken, and sand from sandbags will be used in a variety of way, including spread on area highways next winter.

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About 350,000 sandbags still waiting on pallets inside plastic wrapping will kept that way for now.

"We are going to hang onto to them in case we need them next spring," Fargo spokesman Bruce Grubb said. "I hope they won't be needed that soon, but this is the first time we've had significant back-to-back floods, too."

Cleaning up will be easier than last year in Fargo-Moorhead and across the region, Cecily Fong, spokeswoman for the North Dakota Emergency Services Department, told AP. "The flooding wasn't as extensive, and the weather has really cooperated this time. Basically, everything that went wrong last year went right this year."

Plus, more portable, re-usable flood-fighting systems were used in Fargo, such as plastic tubing and other containers.

"That stuff is just, 'Put up, take down," Fong said.

FEMA head Craig Fugate toured the area last week.

"We sometimes put too much emphasis on the disaster that happened, not the disaster that people were able to prevent," Fugate said. "What I saw was a very effective flood fight."

Related Topics: 2010 FLOODS
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