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March 27, 2009

Red River flooding

The Red River is approaching record flood levels, likely to break century-old records this weekend. Flowing north toward Manitoba along the Minnesota-North Dakota border, the river is jammed up by ice and is being fed by rain, snow and meltwater. The National Weather Service has issued projections of a crest of 43 feet near Fargo, North Dakota, 24 feet above flood stage. Volunteers and national guardsmen are out in force, building levees, rescuing and evacuating those that need to get to higher ground. Cold temperatures are hampering efforts, freezing damp sandbags and making the job that much more strenuous for volunteers. 800 more National Guard troops and 150 Red Cross personnel are arriving in the area this weekend. (30 photos total)

Elsie, one of two Stensgard family dogs, sands on the earthen and sandbag dike surrounding the Stensgard home, not pictured, which overlooks a flooded outbuilding as the Red River continues to rise, Wednesday, March 25, 2009 in Fargo, N.D. Due to the flooding, the Stensgard home can only be reached by boat. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

North Dakota Army National Guard helicopters land demolition crews on the Missouri River, near Bismarck, N.D. Wednesday March 25, 2009. Demolition crews blasted chunks of ice near a huge ice jam in the Missouri River on Wednesday in a bid to open a channel, like pulling out a giant plug to drain a flood threatening the city. (AP Photo/The Bismarck Tribune, Tom Stromme) #

Volunteers fill sandbags during a sandbagging operation at the Fargo Dome March 24, 2009 in Fargo, North Dakota. The city has launched a massive volunteer sandbagging effort to hold back water from the rising Red River. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) #

Sand is poured into a portable wall system that will be used to help protect the Fargo, N.D., area from flooding, Monday, March 23, 2009. Officials planned to have 10 miles of the wall in place before Friday's expected crest. (AP Photo/Dave Kolpack) #

Volunteers ride in the scoop of a front end loading tractor after sandbagging around a home threatened by flood waters from the Red River in Fargo, North Dakota, March 26, 2009. (REUTERS/Eric Miller) #

A coast guard air boat transports people evacuated from their home threatened by rising flood waters of the Red River, south of Fargo, North Dakota, March 26, 2009. (REUTERS/Eric Miller) #

Jerry Sampson tosses a sandbag as he and other volunteers shore up the sandbag dike as the Red River continued to rise along River Drive, Thursday, March 26, 2009 in Fargo, N.D. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) #

This aerial photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard and made from a Coast Guard rescue helicopter shows a small boat, center, used by the Coast Guard to transport six people and two dogs to a platform after the Red River flooded the Fargo area Wednesday March 25, 2009. The Coast Guard later hoisted the flood victims via helicopter to safety. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard, Lt. Brendan Evans) #

Stu McKay, owner of Cats on the Red outfitters, surveys the ice jam from his business's deck about just north of Lockport Manitoba,Canada, Thursday, March 26, 2009. Homeowners in some Manitoba communities are expecting the worst and hoping for the best as ice-clogged culverts, ice jams and the rising Red River continue to threaten dozens of homes, just like its threatening towns and homes in North Dakota and Minnesota. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Winnipeg Free Press-Wayne Glowacki) #

Volunteers make use of a ladder and other items to assist in filling sandbags as the Red River rises Thursday, March 26, 2009 in Moorhead, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) #

Steve Haman, left, hands off a sandbag to Mike Larson as they work to shore up the sandbag dike protecting homes along River Drive as the Red River continues to rise, Thursday, March 26, 2009 in Fargo, N.D. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) #

Large sheets of ice jam the swollen Missouri River north of Bismarck, N.D. on Wednesday March 25, 2009. Extensive flooding in low lying areas is forcing residents in communities close to the river to evacuate. (AP Photo/The Bismarck Tribune, Tom Stromme) #

Volunteers riding on a flatbed truck arrive to help residents sandbag their homes as water from the Red River continues to rise March 25, 2009 in Oxbow, North Dakota. Most of the schools and many businesses in the area have been closed so the students and workers could help in the volunteer effort to prepare the area for flooding. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) #

Officials patrol the swollen Red River between Moorhead, Minn., and Fargo, N.D., background, as they await the predicted weekend crest Thursday, March 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) #

Kevin Hard rides in a trailer loaded with sandbags destined for residents living along the flooded Schnell Drive March 25, 2009 in Oxbow, North Dakota. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) #

Maleah Johnson (left), Cassie Wastweet (center) and Richard Lewis, all seniors at Barnesville High School in Barnesville, Minnesota, help build a levee to save homes from the rising Red River March 25, 2009 in Oxbow, North Dakota. Most of the schools and many businesses in the area have been closed so the students and workers could help in the volunteer effort to prepare the area for flooding. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) #

Russ Richards adds a sandbag onto the dike surrounding his home in Fargo, North Dakota, March 26, 2009. The dike protects the house from the flooding Red River. (REUTERS/Eric Miller) #

A North Dakota National Guard truck passes John Carlson as he wades from his home March 26, 2009 in Oxbow, North Dakota. Water from the Red and Wild Rice Rivers has begun to overtake the small community about 15 milies south of Fargo. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) #

Governor John Hoeven, center, and members of the North Dakota Army National Guard face a ground blizzard as a helicopter takes off from the staging area south of Bismarck, N.D where explosive experts were attempting to open a frozen section of the Missouri River on Wednesday, March 25, 2009. (AP Photo/The Bismarck Tribune, Tom Stromme) #

Rick Carik uses a blower to remove snow from a sandbag levee that protects the Oakcreek housing development from rising flood water, south of Fargo, North Dakota, March 25, 2009. (REUTERS/Eric Miller) #

Herb Read, left, and his son Tom Read look out over the flooded Red River as it rises up against sandbags that protect their home, Wednesday, March 25, 2009 in Hickson, N.D. They refused evacuation from the U.S. Coast Guard. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) #

Dale Cardwell, left, and Jack Lubka struggle to push a boat free of ice in floodwaters of the Red River, Wednesday, March 25, 2009 in Fargo, N.D. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) #

A volunteer uses a pump to remove water that is seeping through the sandbag dike as the Red River continues to rise along River Drive, Thursday, March 26, 2009 in Fargo, N.D. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) #

Volunteers help place sandbags outside the home of Jeremy Kuipers in Moorhead, Minn., Tuesday, March 24, 2009. (AP Photo/The Minneapolis Star Tribune, Richard Tsong-Taatarii) #

Joyce Eisenbraum, right, explains to Dorothy Moderow where she is going as she is evacuated with the rest of the residents at the Elim Rehab & Care Center, Thursday, March 26, 2009 in Fargo, N.D. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) #

Karen Thoreson (left) and Clarence Sitter (right) help arrange sandbags around a house which borders the flooding Red River in Fargo, North Dakota, March 26, 2009. (REUTERS/Eric Miller) #

Sara Litton describes how floodwaters have risen to threaten a neighborhood near Rose Creek Golf Course in Fargo, N.D., on Thursday, March 26, 2009. (AP Photo/The Gazette, Jonathan D. Woods) #

National Guard members and volunteers fill mountains of sand bags at the Bismarck Civic Center on Thursday, March 26, 2009, in Bismarck, N.D. (AP Photo/Bismarck Tribune, Will Kincaid) #

Volunteers use a boat to shuttle sandbags to residents fighting rising flood water March 26, 2009 in Oxbow, North Dakota. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) #

Zach Boor, age 12, whose face is splattered with mud, passes a sandbag down the line as he joined college students to help build a dike along the north side of Rose Coulee Monday, March 23, 2009 in Fargo, N.D. Boor was excused from classes at Discovery Middle School so he could join thousands of other volunteers to build dikes to protect the city from the flooding Red River. (AP Photo/The Forum, Dave Wallis) #

 
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