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

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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