One dead as tornados, heavy rains sweep US midwest

Volunteers filled and stacked sandbags Saturday to protect homes in North Dakota and Minnesota from the rising Red River and its tributaries, swollen by a combination of melting snow and heavy rain. Mayor Bruce Furness said Fargo was preparing for a flood crest next week of 11 to 11.5 meters, well above the official flood stage of 5.5 meters. Along with the sandbagging, the mayor said Saturday there were signs the river's rise is slowing. On the Minnesota side of the Red River valley, the Buffalo River went over its banks and authorities in Minnesota's Norman County closed highways on the west and south sides of the town of Ada because of flooding Saturday and residents of vulnerable homes were sandbagging, dispatcher Joel Andersen said. One woman died in a water-filled ditch, where she apparently fell while trying to walk home after her car stalled on a flooded road, authorities said. The rain was part of a line of damaging thunderstorms that rolled across the middle of the nation with large hail and tornadoes.