FARGO, N.D. — North Dakota and Minnesota residents who fought off record flooding a year ago in a frantic one-week sandbagging effort were jolted Sunday by the prospect of doing it over again.

The latest flood forecast from the National Weather Service shows the Red River rising to 38 feet in Fargo by week’s end before leveling off. That would be 20 feet above flood stage and about 3 feet below last year’s record. The crest had been expected later this month or early April.

The cities of Fargo and neighboring Moorhead, Minn., have been filling sandbags for the last two weeks, but hadn’t planned to hand them out until later.

“It’s go time now,” Moorhead city manager Michael Redlinger said Sunday.

“We’re gearing up,” Fargo city administrator Pat Zavoral said. “It’s last year all over again in terms of us having to do everything in the next six days.”

Last week’s unprecedented mild temperatures and persistent rainfall led to the accelerated crest forecast, weather service spokesman Greg Gust said Sunday.

Last year the crest prediction was bumped up by more than three weeks because of March precipitation. Volunteers in the Fargo-Moorhead area worked around the clock to fill and stack about 6 million sandbags.


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