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Red River close to cresting in Fargo

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FARGO, N.D. — The Red River in in North Dakota's largest city is only inches away from cresting, slightly below levels predicted earlier this week.

As of 5:17 p.m., the Red reached 38.74 feet at Fargo-Moorhead, according to the U.S. National Weather Service.

The Red is expected to rise only slightly higher later today to 38.8 feet, where it may remain.

"The river level may fluctuate a few tenths of a foot over the next 48 hours if rainfall occurs in the area," the weather service said in a statement, adding the crest is expected to remain below 39.5 feet.

The crest will then slowly recede next week, the forecasters said.

Fargo has built up its flood defences to 42 feet. It completed its diking operations on Friday.

This afternoon, workers patrolled dikes along Fargo's downtown while residents strolled over the bridges to Moorhead, Minn., pausing to take photos of the high river levels.

Overland flooding outside of Fargo-Moorhead, however, is significant in many areas. There is water above small stretches one southbound lane of Interstate 29 north of Fargo, but the highway remains open.

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