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Published April 12, 2011, 04:23 PM

NWS Flooding Update

The following is the entire flooding update for the region provided by the National Weather Service

Weather Impacts and Forecast:

Mainly dry conditions are expected for the Red River Basin through the coming work week. A weak frontal system will pass through the area on today, with a brief period of very light rain or sprinkles possible.

Possible rain/snow this weekend.

A stronger storm system will affect the central plains this weekend, with a chance for a mix of rain and snow affecting mainly the southern half of the Red River Basin from Friday night into Saturday. An inch or two of snow is possible, with half an inch or less of total liquid content expected...mainly south from Highway 200 to the SD line. Heavier amounts are expected in eastern SD and southern MN.

Issues Along the Red River:

Record to near record flooding is occurring north from Fargo and Moorhead into Halstad MN. Portions of northeastern Cass County (ND) and northwestern Clay County (MN) have experienced their highest flood levels ever seen. Record flows were recorded by the USGS on the Sheyenne River near Harwood ND on Sunday morning, the result of merging flows from the lower Sheyenne, the Maple and the Rush Rivers. These record flows then merged with the Red River north of Fargo, causing additional backwater levels along the Buffalo River (MN) north of Moorhead, near Georgetown. Harwood ND and Georgetown MN experienced their worst breakout flooding ever. Video shows the flow across I-29 north of Harwood, between mileposts 76 and 79. The interstate has been closed from exit 69 to exit 100 as of 6pm CDT since Sunday evening.

Near record flows are expected into Halstad from Tonight through Wednesday. Halstad peaked near 40.55 feet around 7am Tuesday, just 0.19 inches below the 1997 record crest of 40.74 feet (set April 19, 1997). Halstad could peak near 40.6 feet through the rest of today or Wednesday. Hendrum is expected to crest within half a foot of their 1997 record level of 33.85 feet (set April 18, 1997), from Wednesday into Thursday.

Grand Forks-East Grand Forks Impacts are next: A second minor flood crest has passed through Crookston MN, on the Red Lake River, early Tuesday morning. This crest is timed to move into the Red River at East Grand Forks and Grand Forks near the time of the approaching major Red River crest. The combined flow from these rivers of from 90 to 100 kcfs (thousand cubic feet per second) is forecast to produce a crest of up to 52 feet through Grand Forks/East Grand Forks from Thursday into Friday. This level would be second only to the devastating record crest of 54.35 feet which occurred on April 22, 1997. Grand Forks and East Grand Forks now have permanent flood protection levees to 60 feet.

The Point Bridge and downtown Sorlie Bridge in Grand Forks have both closed due to high water affecting the approaches to those bridges. The third bridge in Grand Forks, the Kennedy Bridge has recently has been protected with temporary dikes to 54 feet. The new Thompson Bridge, south of town, remained opened today and may be able to remain opened through the event since its new bridge deck is considerably higher than the old. Otherwise, the Red River bridges at Nielsville and Climax are underwater and are closed.

The Red River at Fargo-Moorhead should continue a slow fall through the week, and is currently forecast to fall below 36 feet by Sunday. It should continue a slow decline to below Major Flood Stage towards the end of next week. Areas along the Red River northward from Fargo-Moorhead into Perley, Halstad, Grand Forks, Oslo, Drayton and Pembina are all seeing increased breakout flows and rural flooding as the river exceeds moderate and major flood stages. Numerous county and state roads are closed throughout the basin.

Along the Sheyenne River:

Crest forecasts have now been increased at Valley City and Lisbon. The upper Sheyenne River basin is seeing record flows coming into Lake Ashtabula Reservoir above Baldhill Dam. The USACE (Corps of Engineers) have increased their expected releases from Baldhill Dam to accommodate these flows. The resulting increased flows are expected to push Valley City close to 20.5 feet, just under their 2009 record stage of 20.69 feet (set April 13, 2009), by the end of this week.

These flows, combined with local runoff from recent rains could push Lisbon close to 20.9 feet, which is well below the record crest of 22.86 feet, set on April 14, 2009. These higher flows are expected to affect Lisbon early in the coming week, and should move down the Sheyenne into the Kindred late in the coming week, on the tail of current high water there.

Breakout flows are currently diminishing from Kindred into Harwood, with near record flood levels still ongoing from Harwood into the mainstem Red River. The second wave of high water expected late next week should be somewhat lower than the initial crest, but it will act to maintain high levels for quite some time.

Clausen Springs Dam, located on Spring Creek upstream of Kathyrn ND, is being watched closely by state and local officials as high flows are beginning to impact the recently repaired structure. A Flash Flood Watch has been posted for the Spring Creek area from the Dam, through Kathyrn, to the confluence with the Sheyenne River southeast of Kathyrn. This Watch has been extended through Friday evening.

Along the Pembina River:

Log jams near Neche produced recent peak stage. A log jam has recently been cleared from a bridge roughly 5 river miles east of Neche. This had produced a spike to 21.8 feet on the Pembina River near Neche yesterday afternoon (Tuesday). Additional rises to around 20.5 feet are expected near Neche early next week, as higher flows come into the Pembina River system from Windygates, Manitoba, through the week. Peak flows along the Pembina River are expected to come into the community of Pembina near the time of peak levels on the Red River nearly two weeks from now.

Devils Lake over the next three to four weeks.

Overland flooding is increasing in the Devils Lake Basin. Coulee inflows into Devils Lake are expected to produce a 2 to 3 foot rise over the next 2 to 4 weeks.

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