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Erik Burgess, Published April 18 2013

Cass County leaders consider filling up to 200,000 more sandbags

FARGO – Cass County officials could make up to 200,000 more sandbags after receiving news that a flood of record is a possibility this spring.

County staff met this morning to discuss the new flood outlook released Wednesday by the National Weather Service, which said that a very late melt and added moisture from snowfall could cause the Red River in Fargo to crest between 38 and 42 feet. Fargo now faces a 40 percent chance of seeing a record flood.

Cass County Administrator Keith Berndt said the county should be fine with the 500,000 sandbags it made during the first run of Sandbag Central in Fargo, but county leaders decided today that up to 200,000 more could be needed.

Berndt said the decision on how many bags are needed will be made early next week.

“We’re not in too bad of shape with the 500,000, but we’re still hoping the weather service comes out with that deterministic forecast here in the next few days,” he said.

Work on clay levees in the county will start Tuesday, Berndt said, and areas that wouldn’t have received a levee in a 38-foot flood event will now be getting a levee, such as along 25th Street South and 88th Avenue South near the Round Hill subdivision.

Berndt said the county has already started to deliver bags to some of the southern subdivisions.

“It’s been dragging on for so long, and people are pretty reluctant to start sandbagging,” Berndt said. “They’re hoping things change, but I think with what we’re hearing from the weather service now, people have to take it very serious.”

The county’s flood information hotline is (701) 297-6000.