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Obama pledges support to Red River Valley

President Barack Obama said on Saturday that his administration is lending a hand to the flood-affected areas of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, and he is keeping an eye on the situation, the New York Times reported.

Obama has declared a major disaster in the area. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, and many other agencies and organizations are contributing to the efforts in the Red River Valley, and the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security said the government is prepared to house and feed up to 30,000 people for a week, Inquirer.net reported via Agence France-Presse.

The National Weather Service said the River may have crested on Saturday in the Fargo, N.D.,-Moorhead, Minn., area, as the water level dropped under 40.7 feet after being over 40.8 feet earlier in the morning, the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reported. The level is still above the 112-year-old record of 40.1 feet, but below an earlier prediction of 43 feet.

While there is optimism that the level is declining, a National Weather Service meteorologist cautioned that it could fluctuate by up to a foot over the next week. Continuous water pressure against the levees will be a concern over the next week, the Star Tribune reported.

President Obama credited the volunteers, including many college and high school students, for their continuing efforts to aid their community, the Times reported.