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FARGO, N.D. – Thousands of shivering, tired residents got out while they could and others prayed that miles of sandbagged levees would hold Friday as the surging Red River threatened to unleash the biggest flood North Dakota‘s largest city has ever seen.

The agonizing decision to stay or go came as the final hours ticked down before an expected crest Saturday evening, when the ice-laden river could climb as high as 43 feet, nearly 3 feet higher than the record set 112 years ago.

This photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, shows a helicopter rescue crew“It’s to the point now where I think we’ve done everything we can,” said resident Dave Davis, whose neighborhood was filled with backhoes and tractors building an earthen levee. “The only thing now is divine intervention.”

Even after the floodwaters crest, the water may not begin receding before Wednesday, creating a lingering risk of a catastrophic failure in levees put together mostly by volunteers.

National Guard troops fanned out in the bitter cold to inspect floodwalls for leaks and weak spots, and residents piled sandbags on top of 12 miles of snow-covered dikes. The freezing weather froze the bags solid, turning them into what townspeople hoped would be a watertight barrier.

Hundreds more Guard troops poured in from around the state and neighboring South Dakota, along with scores of American Red Cross workers from as far away as Modesto, Calif.

Homeowners, students and small armies of other volunteers filled sandbags in temperatures that barely rose into the double digits.

The river swelled Friday to 40.67 feet — more than 22 feet above flood stage and beyond the previous high-water mark of 40.1 feet in 1897. In one flooded neighborhood, a man paddled a canoe through ice floes and swirling currents.

Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker cautiously expressed hope that the river would stay below 43 feet — the limit of the reinforced dikes. Walaker said there was not enough time to build the levees any higher.

Fargo escaped devastation from flooding in 1997, when Grand Forks was ravaged by a historic flood 70 miles to the north. This year, the river has been swollen by heavier-than-average winter snows, combined with an early freeze last fall that locked a lot of moisture into the soil. The threat has been made worse by spring rains.

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Thousands flee Fargo ahead of menacing floodwaters


Iowa City’s flood protections face a marathon test

Officials in Columbus Junction, Iowa, survey flooding from a bridge near the confluence of the Iowa and Cedar Rivers. (Stephen Mally for The New York Times)

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Flooding in the American Midwest threatens crops – International Herald Tribune



My Way News – Rising waters in Plains inundate bridge, farmland

PORTLAND – Hundreds of residents fled their homes this week after a fierce storm battered the Pacific Northwest, killing at least five people and leading to widespread flooding that shut down a stretch of Interstate 5.

National Guard troops were summoned before daybreak Wednesday to help evacuate a 20-unit trailer park near Elma in the Schoeweiler Tracts area, threatened by the flooding Chehalis River, said Aberdeen police Detective George J. Kelly, a spokesman at the Grays Harbor County emergency command center.

Floods continue to plague Northwest | Top Stories | | News for Seattle, Washington

thames barrier

The Thames Barrier will be closed at 8pm to protect against the tidal surge

Police and fire services were last night preparing to evacuate thousands of homes. Householders were stocking up on sandbags and emergency provisions.

Tidal wave heading for Englands east coast poses extreme danger to life | the Daily Mail

The Flood of Mexico 2007

Floods in Mexico Strand Thousands

One million people affected by Mexican Flood…

(AP) A man rescues a parrot and two dogs from floodwaters in Tabasco, Mexico, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007. A…
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(AP) People evacuate a flooded area in Villahermosa, Mexico, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007. A week of heavy…
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(AP) People evacuate a flooded area in Tabasco, Mexico, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007. A week of heavy rains…
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Buffets South Florida…




Rising Seas Threaten 21 Mega-Cities
Cities around the world are facing the danger of rising seas and other disasters related to climate change.

Of the 33 cities predicted to have at least 8 million people by 2015, at least 21 are highly vulnerable, says the Worldwatch Institute.

They include Dhaka in Bangladesh; Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro; Shanghai and Tianjin in China; Alexandria and Cairo in Egypt; Mumbai and Kolkata in India; Jakarta in Indonesia; Tokyo and Osaka-Kobe in Japan; Lagos in Nigeria; Karachi in Pakistan; Bangkok in Thailand, and New York and Los Angeles in the United States, according to studies by the United Nations and others.

More than one-tenth of the worlds population, or 643 million people, live in low-lying areas at risk from climate change, say U.S. and European experts. Most imperiled, in descending order, are China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, Egypt, the U.S., Thailand and the Philippines.

Web Urbanist » Underwater Urban Archeology: 7 Submerged Wonders of the World
Underwater Urban Archeology: 7 Submerged Wonders of the World

A wealth of human history lies submerged in ancient cities at the bottoms of lakes, seas and oceans of the world. Some of these were sent into the water via earthquakes, tsunamis or other disasters thousands of years ago. Many have just recently been rediscovered, by accident or through emergent technological innovations. Some have even caused scientists to question the history of human civilization.

Alexandria, Egypt: Off the shores of Alexandria, the city of Alexander the Great, lie what are believed to be the ruins of the royal quarters of Cleopatra. It is believed that earthquakes over 1,500 years ago were responsible for casting this into the sea, along with artifacts, statues and other parts of Cleopatra’s palace. The city of Alexandria even plans to offer underwater tours of this wonder.

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