Flooding in North Dakota: Disaster Area
As the Red River continues to rise, North Dakota is under a state of emergency as flood waters swamp neighborhoods. Western Minnesota is also under flood watch. River levels are expected to reach over 12 meters ( 39 feet), worse than the flooding that swamped the region in 1997.
North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven said the declaration in his state, which was announced by U.S. President Barack Obama, means the federal government will pay 75 per cent of state and local government costs to fight the flood.
Fargo residents, in the eastern part of the state, are rushing to build dikes ahead of the river's predicted cresting on Friday. Hundreds of people are racing to fill the estimated two million sandbags needed to shield the community from the rising water.
Storms that dropped at least three inches of snow across the valley were expected to complicate efforts to continue building dikes in the Fargo-Moorhead area, which is expected to be ground zero of the flood of 2009 on the Red.
The Red River reaches up into Canada as well, and Manitoba is taking steps to mitigate any damage that may take place.
In southern Manitoba, the Roseau River First Nation is preparing to leave because of flood waters and a state of emergency has been declared in Dominion City, 30 kilometres to the west.
In Winnipeg, residents are also rushing to prepare for possible flooding.