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ND officials: Permanent flood protection needed

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — City and county officials have pleaded for permanent flood protection as residents along the Red River in Fargo and neighboring Moorhead, Minn., were told to prepare for one of the top five crests in their history.

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The latest National Weather Service outlook includes a 50 percent chance that the river would top 38 feet later this spring, which would surpass the fifth-highest crest of 37.34 feet in 1969.

Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker says the city will "do whatever's necessary" to protect residents, but believes the only solution is a proposed $2 billion diversion channel.

Fargo is asking for help from volunteers to make 500,000 sandbags to add to a reserve of 750,000 bags. The city plans to place 1.1 million bags and the county 500,000 bags to protect structures.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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