Weather-weary Fargo-Moorhead eyes blizzard

March 30, 2009 at 3:08 PM
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FARGO, N.D., March 30 (UPI) -- Residents in the Fargo-Moorhead area of North Dakota and Minnesota watched as the Red River receded Monday, though still on the lookout for a blizzard.

While the blizzard's track indicates Fargo-Moorhead will miss the brunt of the storm, the flood-ravaged area still was expected to experience strong winds and see up to a foot of snow accumulate through Tuesday, reported.

Anticipating another round of nasty weather, Fargo city officials called on all non-essential businesses to remain closed through Wednesday. In addition, officials said the U.S. Coast Guard planned to put in place regulations that would enforce penalties for people boating on the Red River who weren't authorized, The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reported.

Fargo Public Schools officials decided Monday to resume classes next Monday. But first the district must reclaim buses used for evacuations last week, re-arrange bus routes and recover several of their schools, the Forum reported. Four schools are occupied by the National Guard and two others are being used as shelters.

The Red River at Fargo crested just below 41 feet early Saturday morning and has fallen through the beginning of the week to 39.44 feet early Monday. Flood stage is 18 feet.

Sustained winds were expected to reach 25 mph, with gusts of at least 40 mph, threatening to create waves in the floodwaters that could slosh over the levees, forecasters said. Forecasters said once the ground begins to thaw and moisture from nearby flood waters saturates the soil in some locations at the base of the levees, there was the risk of water percolating up from beneath the levee, causing a washout from the bottom.

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