FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Hundreds of high school students are pitching in to place 100,000 sandbags around Fargo and help protect homes against Red River flooding.

The nearly annual sandbag party began in 2009 when the city fought the first of three straight major floods. Students placed 700,000 sandbags in less than two days during the last flood in 2011.

But officials and residents alike hope not nearly as many are needed this time around.

There's reason for optimism.

The latest forecast calls for the Red River to reach a water level between 38 and 40 feet. Few structures are threatened at those levels thanks primarily to increased flood protection efforts in recent years.

The river measured about 21 feet Friday morning. An updated forecast was expected later in the day.