One of Doug Stensguard's dogs, Annie, looks out over what used to be a 5-acre yard and an out building that is now flooded by the rising Red River, Tuesday, March 24, 2009 in Fargo, N.D. Stensguard built an earthen and sandbag dike around his home in the hope of holding back the rising floodwater from the Red River. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Fargo, N.D. (AP) Officials are pleaded today for thousands of Volunteer sandbaggers in North Dakota, where the Red River is expected to crest at a record 41 feet by Saturday.
Officials are readying evacuation plans and vowing to build the dikes a foot higher than planned in an effort to hold back the water.
To the west, officials in Bismarck are battling ice jams in the Missouri River. Demolition crews blasted chunks of ice Wednesday in a bid to open a channel, like pulling out a giant plug. Officials plan two more rounds of explosives.
Bismarck Mayor John Warford says officials are “cautiously optimistic.”
Water backing up behind the dam of ice blocks already has forced the evacuation of about 1,700 people from low-lying areas.
President Barack Obama has declared the entire state of North Dakota a disaster area in response to widespread flooding.