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SOUTHERN VALLEY FLOOD ROUNDUP: Moorhead buyout homes OK ... more

Moorhead homes should be OK MOORHEAD -- Earlier this spring, the city of Moorhead was hoping that about two dozen flood buyout homes earmarked for reuse could be moved to safe ground before a flood. So far, only two have been trucked out of harm'...

Moorhead homes should be OK

MOORHEAD -- Earlier this spring, the city of Moorhead was hoping that about two dozen flood buyout homes earmarked for reuse could be moved to safe ground before a flood.

So far, only two have been trucked out of harm's way.

But a city official said Tuesday if flood predictions of a crest at 39 feet or lower hold, the remainder of the houses should come out all right, even though some will end up on the wet side of temporary clay dikes.

Several homes are in areas where basements are at risk of flooding, but structures themselves should remain dry, according to Peter Doll, the city's manager of development services.

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He said three or four houses that remain on their original lots have been placed upon blocks in preparation for moving them and then chained to foundations, steps that provide additional flood protection.

Tactical teams to descend on Fargo

FARGO -- Helicopters and air rescue boats should be arriving in Cass County today, along with helping hands from a variety of federal agencies ready to aid in the region's flood fight.

Cass County activated its emergency response team early Tuesday, which means the county's deputies are taken off their regular assignments and pooled together to assist in flood fighting efforts in the region.

The deputies are divided into three teams that take staggered shifts so they can respond 24/7.

Red crests at Wahpeton, N.D.

WAHPETON, N.D. -- The Red River crested at Wahpeton, N.D.-Breckenridge, Minn., just before midnight Monday, with the latest outlook projecting it will embark on a new rise shortly and top off at 17 feet late Thursday, half a foot lower than earlier forecasts.

Ice on the Red in that area is making it especially unpredictable, and the National Weather Service warned of possible rapid fluctuations.

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The 16.49-foot crest the river hit late Monday is mainly the result of local runoff and flow from the Otter Tail River. The second high will come as peak flow from the Bois de Sioux River makes its way through the Wahpeton area in coming days.

Moorhead grateful for help

MOORHEAD -- "Now is go time."

With that, Moorhead City Manager Michael Redlinger opened Tuesday's flood update at City Hall by asking volunteers to redouble efforts to fill sandbags and build dikes around Moorhead homes.

"It's absolutely critical that we get volunteers out today," Redlinger said.

And people did turn out, said City Council member Brenda Elmer, who visited several neighborhoods Tuesday.

"Everywhere I go, there's 40 to 50 kids on hand," said Elmer. She thanked Concordia College and Minnesota State University Moorhead students who helped out.

Representatives from those schools said Tuesday that students were being encouraged to volunteer, and it was expected that Moorhead High School students will join the effort when they get a three-day break from classes starting today because of parent-teacher conferences.

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Moorhead has prefilled 300,000 sandbags, reaching the goal the city set to protect against a 38-foot flood.

Harwood battles floodwaters

HARWOOD, N.D. -- The sound of Bobcats buzzed through the air south of here Tuesday, as several residents clamored to move mounds of clay dirt into temporary dikes around their homes.

The projected rise for the Sheyenne River at Harwood put some residents on edge, as they worked to protect their homes from another spring of overland flooding that they fear might arrive at their doorsteps in the coming days.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Sheyenne was in moderate flood stage at 887.97 feet. The National Weather Service projects the river will crest at 891.5 feet by 7 a.m. Friday and stay at that level for at least a few days.

That crest would be just two-tenths of a foot less than 2009's level (891.70) and about a half-foot short of the record crest of 892.02 feet set during the 1997 flood, according to the weather service.

Oak Grove begins sandbagging

FARGO -- After losing two battles with the Red River, Nancy Opitz is hopeful for a victory this year.

On Tuesday, she began stacking sandbags as the river crept about 10 feet from her north Fargo home. Last year, 10,000 sandbags didn't stop the river from inundating her home of 26 years.

"It was all for nothing last year, so I'm hoping it works this year," she said. "But that's not the way it's looking now."

Surrounded by the Red River, the Oak Grove neighborhood was one of the worst damaged areas after the river overtook its banks last year.

On Tuesday, the clay-caked roads and rows of sandbag-filled pallets showed the neighborhood is readying for a rematch.

City crews expect to begin work on a clay dike today that will help protect Oak Grove Lutheran School and nearby homes.

But Opitz and another resident are on the other side of the dike, left protected only by the sandbags they stack this week.

At Oak Grove, where the school's football field and goal posts sat under water, about 30 students stacked some 1,000 sandbags on the school's floodwall to hold down plastic and fill in holes.

Businesses urge volunteering

FARGO -- Many Fargo-area businesses are paying their employees to work for the city.

Businesses are urging employees to volunteer in the flood fight and many plan to pay them to do it.

Microsoft and Noridian Administrative Services/Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota give employees 16 hours of paid time off to volunteer.

Microsoft also matches volunteer hours by donating $17 an hour to a nonprofit organization.

State Bank & Trust is coordinating with managers to be able to serve customers while also having as many people help with the flood fight as possible. Volunteers are paid normal working hours.

"We're very fortunate that we have a large enough staff that we can still service our customers and yet allow a good portion of our team to help the cause," said Michael Solberg, president and COO of State Bank & Trust.

Related Topics: 2010 FLOODSMOORHEAD
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