Sandbag Central Reopens as Fargo Calls for More Protection - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Sandbag Central Reopens as Fargo Calls for More Protection

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Snow totals around the valley are drawing concern for Fargo City Commissioners. Monday, they announced a plan to protect the city up to 43 feet, and that starts with reopening Sandbag Central. The plan is to open doors by Thursday for the work to get underway once again.

Commissioners agreed they would have to take flood fighting precautions to the next level. They say they're not willing to take the risk of not being prepared.

"My reasoning has changed since Saturday when I felt relatively good," Dennis Walaker, Fargo Mayor, said.

As Mayor Walaker's eyes grow heavy with flood forecasts, the Red River is weighing down with built up moisture and it's all reaching new levels.

"This is the first time in my history that I don't think we can wait for a deterministic forecast from the weather service before we can act," Walaker said.

The National Weather Service has not yet issued a new flood crest prediction, but recent storms and more on the way are pushing city commissioners to act fast and fill 500,000 more sandbags.

"Time, in my opinion, is of the essence. We do this with a certain amount of reluctance, it's not always simple to get the sandbag process moving again," Walaker said.

But, preparing the city for the potential of a major flood will take more than sandbags, other city employees say.

"To have a 41-foot crest seems more real now than two weeks ago, because of that we are going to recommend to the commission that we raise all of our flood fighting levels to 43-feet," Pat Zavoral, Fargo City Administrator, said.

Zavoral says the city's plan will shift from "a neighborhood protection all the way up to a city wide protection."

Meanwhile, as the snow takes it's time to melt, the city has no time to spare.

"We just need to get ahead of the game a little bit," Zavoral said.

With 500,000 more sandbags, the city will have about 1.8 million sandbags on hand.

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