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Published March 05, 2010, 04:34 PM

New Flood Forecast Looks a Little Better

The National Weather Service released a new flood outlook for this spring and the news in encouraging. There was little to no change in the new outlook for most of the region. The chances of flooding have even dropped for some locations with the exception of Devils Lake.

The national weather service released a new flood outlook for this spring and the news in encouraging.

There was little to no change in the new outlook for most of the region. The chances of flooding have even dropped for some locations with the exception of Devils Lake.

Frantic flood fighters can take a sigh of relief, at least for a couple weeks. New flood forecasts show a slightly reduced probability of record flooding in most areas. In Fargo record flood percentages dropped from 25-percent to 20. And in Grand Forks the 1-to-2 percent chance of record flooding is gone completely.

Gregory Gust: "This is a significant flood season, the fact that we haven't changed it much means we have not had much precipitation in the past two weeks."

Precipitation is the first factor that could have changed the forecast. That's remained low and should continue in the next two weeks.

Gregory Gust: "We're forecasting between a tenth to a quarter of an inch of liquid precipitation."

The rate of snow melt is another important factor in flooding. A sudden change to warm weather could drastically increase the flood risk.

The national weather service says at least over the next two weeks they see no indication of a rapid melt, they say as long as that trend continues in the Grand Forks area the flood risk should remain steady as well.

Grand Forks officials say they are happy to hear the news, but this hasn't changed their preparation course.

Al Grasser: "We have to make sure everything is in order because we're still expecting to fight significant floods, so we'll be putting up gates, stop logs, and stuff similar to last year."

Devils Lake did not fair so well. It's risen 2-tenths of a foot this winter alone. Snowmelt and river inflow has upped the forecast.

Gregory Gust: "We've bumped the risk factors up again and you can see the 50-percent chance continues that there is a 2-3 foot rise, that's a strong possibility."

Devils Lake has a 10-percent chance of hitting 1454 at which point entire towns like Minnewaukan would be facing the decision of evacuation and the loss of their school.

The next flood forecast will be released on March 19th.

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