[Updated 6:07 p.m.] The Red River crested Sunday, with officials in North Dakota and Minnesota keeping a wary eye on levees and dikes intended to shore up the river's edge.
Farther south, authorities said they linked four deaths to a spring snow storm. The waters of the Red River reached 36.99 feet - 19 feet above flood level - at 9:30 a.m. (10:30 a.m. ET), the National Weather Service reported Sunday evening.
Water surrounded some homes near the river in Fargo, where 700,000 sandbags guarded the city from creeping waters. At least 10 people have been rescued from floodwaters in the area since Friday, according to the U.S. Coast
[Posted 3:10 p.m.] The Red River nearly crested Sunday afternoon, threatening North Dakota and neighboring Minnesota, while farther south authorities say they linked three deaths to a late winter storm.
The waters of the Red River could crest at 37 feet, which is 19 feet above flood stage, according to the National Weather Service. Water surrounded some homes near the river in Fargo, where 700,000 sandbags guarded the city from creeping waters. The river had reached 36.96 feet by 12:15 p.m. (1:15 p.m. ET), the weather service reported.
Moorhead, Minnesota, is also on alert and the city has advised residents to monitor sandbag dikes. Between Moorhead and Fargo, more than a million sandbags were stacked to defend against the river's rising.
Throughout Cass County, North Dakota, which includes Fargo, officials had their eyes on levees and dikes. Between Saturday night and Sunday morning, teams rushed to three locations to reinforce sandbag dikes, said Capt. Grant Larson of the North Dakota Air National Guard. One thousand sandbags were stacked around a home threatened by flood Sunday morning, he said.
"This house would have been lost," he said about the save.
Overall, the situation in Fargo looked good, Mayor Dennis Walaker said Sunday morning. "We're standing tall," Walaker said. "We have to stand tall for a few more days."
The water level is expected to hover around 37 feet until Sunday evening, said City of Fargo spokeswoman Theresa Orecchia.
The weather service forecasts that the river won't recede to 30.9 feet until next Sunday. When the river recedes to 30 feet, or major flood stage, Fargo can begin removing dikes, Orecchia said. The waters are expected to begin their retreat Sunday evening at a rate two to three times slower than it rose, Orecchia said.
"We are still in a wait and watch mode," she added.
The Red River flooding began last week when warmer weather and rain melted snow south of Fargo and Moorhead, causing the river to swell. Upstream, snow and ice have yet to melt, pushing water back toward the two cities. Farther south, the southern Plains blamed three deaths on a late winter storm linked to three deaths.
Stacy Moore, 26, died Saturday when a slush-covered Unionville, Missouri, road caused her to veer off, said Michael Weiseman, radio operator for the Missouri Highway Patrol. Moore's vehicle flipped over and she was ejected, Weiseman said Sunday.
Weather-related vehicle crashes in Kansas and Oklahoma also caused one fatality in each state, authorities said. Oklahoma police investigated 165 crashes, one that resulted in the death of a 7-year-old who was ejected from a vehicle when it crashed in Logan County on Saturday morning, the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management reported.
Road conditions remain treacherous from eastern Oklahoma to the Kansas-Missouri border as the storm passes over the region. Winter storm warnings from northeast Texas to western Missouri warned of several inches of snow. Anywhere from 3 to 5 inches could fall over northeast
Texas, the weather service reported. By late Sunday, a foot of snow may fall over parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas, which have received several inches already this weekend. Fayetteville, Arkansas, tallied a foot of snow while Westville, Oklahoma, tallied 11 inches Sunday morning, the weather service said. Tulsa, Oklahoma, received 4.5 inches.
Lees Summit in Missouri got 9 inches of snow and parts of west and central Missouri could see another 1 to 2 inches Sunday with total accumulations of 6 to 12 inches from the weekend's storm, the weather service said.
Snow is expected to taper off in the region by late Sunday.