They had been hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. And now, with minimal damage reported, the Red River is beginning to recede in Fargo, North Dakota.
The water levels crested yesterday at 36.99 feet -- it's seventh-highest ever. More than a million sandbags had been filled in Fargo and Moorhead, Minnesota, on the opposite bank. Officials say they protected the communities as snowmelt pushed the river up.
Last year's floodwaters led to an estimated $100 million in damage, and there were fears that this year's flooding would be just as severe. Originally, forecasters were expecting the Red River to crest in April, but a recent spell of mild weather caused the snow around the river to melt quicker.
Still, the water will likely stick around for a while. The river will likely remain above flood stage through to next week.
At least 10 people have been rescued from floodwaters in the area since Friday, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Here at home, the Red River is expected to peak in Winnipeg in early April, two weeks earlier than usual. While it is predicted that recent warm, dry weather and early spring run-off will result in average or below-average water levels similar to 2006, there is still the possibility of flooding comparable to 2009 levels if there is significant warm or wet weather in the next few weeks.
Make sure you tune into The Weather Network on TV for all of the latest updates. Our newscast comes up at :12 and :42 minutes past each hour.