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Editorial: Water rises; we should watch

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opinion Worthington, 56187

Worthington Minnesota 300 11th Street / P.O. Box 639 56187

In 1997, the Red River reached a record high of 39.6 feet in Fargo, N.D. That was also the year of the Grand Forks, N.D., flood, which prompted this famous headline in the Grand Forks Herald: "Come hell or high water."

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Well, both of those may well be on the way once again. The Red is projected to crest in Fargo/Moorhead at between 39 and 41 feet by Friday evening, and round-the-clock sandbagging efforts have been under way for days.

Volunteers have come reportedly come out by the hundreds, according to a Tuesday Associated Press report, and Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker said the people have been working very hard and "we don't see any fear."

We could, of course, understand if there were many experiencing such an emotion. But at times like this, the people of North Dakota and Minnesota have repeatedly come together to try and make the best of a difficult situation -- and are doing so once more.

This year, another North Dakota community not on the national radar for flooding in '97 -- Bismarck -- could see serious water woes, as well. Few of us in this region may have any ties to Bismarck -- or Fargo/Moorhead, or other endangered communities in western Minnesota for that matter -- but that doesn't mean we shouldn't watch what enfolds there. If flooding occurs, we will have no choice but to assist in any way we can. After all, that's what we would hope for if significant flooding came our way.

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