In this Wednesday, March 27, 2019, photo, Daniel Barrett, right, of Red Lake, Minn., strikes a pose while he and Devan Keezer, of White Earth, Minn., fill sandbags in Fargo, N.D. Volunteers from around the region are coming to help the city fill bags to protect itself against possible major flooding from spring runoff in mid-April. The city wants to fill 1 million sandbags within the next two weeks. (AP Photo/Dave Kolpack)

As flood looms, North Dakota's largest city back to bagging

March 29, 2019 - 12:56 pm

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — After a five-year break from warding off major Red River floods, North Dakota's largest city is back in the sandbag-filling business.

Fargo officials this week reactivated Sandbag Central, converting a building that normally houses garbage trucks into a systematic operation that combines machinery and manpower to fill 24 sandbags every six seconds. It saved the city in 2009 when volunteers made more than 6 million bags to barely hold back a record-setting flood.

The National Weather Service says there's a small chance the river could approach that level in mid-April, so city officials aren't taking any chances. They are looking to make 1 million sandbags in two weeks.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is warning against complacency, citing the long-lingering flood threat in states like Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri.

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