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Point Bridge reopens; Red has yet to crest in Pembina

The Point Bridge between Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. Herald file photo

As floodwaters begin to slowly recede, at least one bridge has opened again.

City officials from Grand Forks and East Grand Forks opened the Point Bridge on Minnesota Avenue Friday afternoon. The bridge should stay open as long as water remains off the roadway. However, the bridge will continue to be monitored throughout the weekend; if water builds up on the road on the East Grand Forks side, the bridge could be closed again, the city said in a press release.

The bridge had been closed since April 9 due to flooding.

The Sorlie Bridge at DeMers Avenue remains closed. The Kennedy Bridge is open.

As of 12:45 p.m. Friday the Red River's level was at 45.25 feet in Grand Forks, according to the National Weather Service. The river is expected to be around 44.9 feet by Monday afternoon and will likely continue to go down from there.

Greg Gust, meteorologist with the weather service in Grand Forks, said recent rain and snow in the Red River Valley has had little impact to water levels north of Grand Forks.

Overall, the river is slowly receding in most of the region, with an occasional second crest in areas south of Grand Forks, Gust said.

"It takes a long time for the Red to actually push that water all the way through," he said.

If the area were to receive significant rainfall in the coming weeks, it could cause another bump in river levels. However, significant rainfall is unlikely for the region in the next week, Gust said.

The river has yet to crest in Pembina, N.D. The river level was 47.43 feet as of 1:30 p.m. Friday. Gust said the river is expected to crest around 50.5 feet in Pembina next week.

In Oslo, Minn., the river is expected to remain around 37.6 feet through early next week. As of 12:15 p.m. Friday the river was at 37.57 feet, which is major flood stage for the town.

The Minnesota National Guard remains active in northwestern Minnesota in response to rising floodwaters after Gov. Tim Walz signed an emergency executive order last week, the Minnesota National Guard said in a press release Friday.

The only mode of transportation into Oslo is the tactical vehicles of the 2-136th Combined Arms Battalion, the guard said. Seventeen soldiers who have been activated to Marshall County will remain through at least Sunday.

Additionally, soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard were activated to Halstad, Minn., in Norman County to support authorities in flood response.

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