Region Flood OutlookThe latest flood forecast has the City of Fargo going into full flood-fight mode. A new outlook says there's a 50 percent chance that the river will top 38 feet.
By: David Schwab, WDAZ
The latest flood forecast has the City of Fargo going into full flood-fight mode. A new outlook says there's a 50 percent chance that the river will top 38 feet.
Expectations rival the floods of 2011 and 2010 and city officials will start to call for volunteers to make sandbags. Flood preparations are also planned on the Northern end of the valley. The National Weather Service says there is a 50 percent chance the river could reach 46 feet in Grand Forks. Because the permanent flood protection is in place, for most people that is a non-event.
Two years ago the Red River at Grand Forks crested at just under 50 feet, the year before that was 46 feet. Today the National Weather Service says there is 50 percent chance of a 46 foot level again this year.
Kevin Dean, City Of Grand Forks: "More then likely it looks like the point bridge may have to be closed, possibly even the Sorlie Bridge."
Dean says as the water rises the city will start a checklist of closing gates and closures to the Greenway.
Dean: "For all intent and purposes, Most people consider it a non event."
Further upstream there is a 50 percent chance for major flooding at Oslo and Pembina, and like Grand Forks the towns have plans in place to handle the water at those levels.
Greg Gust, National Weather Service: "The potential for a rapid thaw with rain on top of it -- that is a volatile mix."
Gust says the wild card is the speed of a late melt of a large snow pack and future rainfall.
Gust: "If thunderstorms go over one part of the basin or another that area is going to go to local flooding pretty quickly and it's going to be pretty dramatic."
The forecast is for colder then average conditions, which will give people threatened by flooding a chance to get ready and that includes making sandbags.
Dean: "We will fill some that will be used perhaps for some areas that not protected by the permanent protection system."
There is less risk for flooding along the Red Lake and Roseau rivers.
The forecast calls for a 50 percent chance for minor flooding at Roseau and Crookston.
Recent snowfall has increased the chances of a two-foot rise on Devils Lake this summer to 90 percent.
The latest flood outlook from the weather service says there is about a 25- percent chance that Devils Lake will surpass its record elevation of 1,454.3 feet above sea level set back in June 2011. That would mean thousands of acres of land and some roads once again would go under water. A levee system protects the city of Devils Lake from a much higher elevation.