TODAY   |  April 27, 2013

Midwest braces for record-breaking flooding

It has been a water-logged week throughout much of the Midwest. Chicago saw the wettest April on records that caused extensive flooding, and in Michigan dozens of homes were damaged by high waters on a major river. The weather continues as residents in the hardest hit areas guard their properties with sandbags. NBC’s Kevin Tibbles reports.

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>>> officials in fargo , north dakota are keeping a close eye on the red river this morning. the area is bracing for what's expected to be one of the biggest floods it's ever seen. kevin tibbles is in fargo . kevin , good morning.

>> reporter: hey, lester. both you and i know the people here in fargo are very used to watching the red river rise each spring, but once again this year they are very concerned about whether or not it's going to damage their city. fargo awakes this morning with all eyes on the red river . anticipating another spring of record high water . high schoolers were given the day friday to help build sand bag barricades.

>> good to know that we're helping other people being able to live where they do live.

>> i feel good about helping the community out.

>> more bags!

>> reporter: for the fourth time in five years, this city on the plains braces for record flooding. in 2009 the water reached nearly 41 feet, swamping hundreds of homes. starting today, the red is expected to rise dramatically as run off from melting snow will swell the already fast running waters. by mid week, it could be touching the sand bags. city manager mike williams helps ensure the sand bag levees are ready.

>> this one we've never had -- we've proacte've protected to like i said 42 feet. this one we've never seen and hope we never did.

>> reporter: it's been a wet week through much of the midwest. in the chicago area the wettest april on record caused extensive flooding. in comstoccomstock, michigan homes damaged. so much water on the land in indiana farmers may have to delay planting, all of this coming out of last year's extreme drought. near st. louis water levels were dangerously low on the mississippi. now it, too, is flooding. behind their fargo home, erin and her husband, john, aren't taking any chances.

>> to be honest this is going to be fargo 's fifth record flood, so i'm not putting my guard down at all because mother nature knows how to throw a party.

>> reporter: there is a bit of good news. the original estimates as to how high this river is going to get have actually been decreased, but, still, as you just heard, people here are anticipating what could be another record flood in the fargo area. lester?

>> all right. kevin tibbles this morning. thanks very much. we've