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Craig Wilhelmi works to level snow in his front yard on Chestnut Street as his children, Seth, 9, and Alli, 4 watch on a warm afternoon Wednesday. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Signs of spring: warm weather, higher rivers

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Spring-like temperatures came and went in the northern Red River Valley Wednesday, bringing continued overland flooding in Walsh County and raising river levels along parts of the Red River and Red Lake River.

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In Grand Forks, the temperature was as high as 71 degrees late in the afternoon. It was 70 in Crookston, 64 in Thief River Falls and 70 in Devils Lake.

No records were broken, though. The record high in Grand Forks for April 9 is 83 degrees in 1977. The record low is 5 degrees in 1997.

The weather service continued its flood warning for all of Walsh County, the Red River in East Grand Forks and Oslo, the Red Lake River in Crookston, and the Snake River in Alvarado, Minn., and above Warren, Minn.

But a cold front moving into the area could bring showers and thunderstorms throughout the northern valley and the Devils Lake Basin. The weather service says there’s a 40 percent chance of rain or even snow Friday evening.

But, given all that, flooding could be over almost as soon as it begins, according to the agency’s latest flood forecast.

The Red River in East Grand Forks is expected to crest at 34.5 feet Sunday morning, several feet short of moderate flood stage. The city would have to close the road that goes under the Kennedy Bridge at 34 feet, however, because it’s on the wet side of the dikes.

Other forecasts include:

  •  The Red River at Oslo, Minn., would crest at 33 feet Sunday morning. That’s moderate flood stage. In recent years, spring flooding has cut roads entering the city, but that may not happen this year. State Highway 1 won’t be flooded until 37.5 feet. The weather service warned Wednesday that river levels could fluctuate significantly because the area is prone to ice jams.
  •  The Red Lake River in Crookston, would crest at 17 feet Friday evening. That’s minor flood stage.
  •  The Snake River above the Warren, Minn., diversion would crest at 68.8 feet Wednesday evening. That’s minor flood stage. Some ice jams were reported earlier, but they appear to have passed.
  •  The Snake River at Alvarado, Minn., would crest at 109 feet Thursday evening. That’s moderate flood stage.
  •  The Forest River at Minto, N.D., would crest at 7 feet. That’s minor flood stage.
  •  The Park River at Grafton, N.D., would crest at 14 feet. That’s moderate flood stage.

On the Web: To see more forecasts go to 1.usa.gov/1oNHXfe.

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