Second Red River crest possible at Grand Forks
The Red River at Grand Forks has dropped almost 2 feet since its Friday crest of 46.87 feet, but additional precipitation could result in a secondary crest this weekend.
To the north, the community of Oslo, Minn., crested Saturday at 37.81 feet. Floodwaters have cut off access to the town and slowed traffic on nearby Interstate 29. The only two roads into Oslo, North Dakota Highway 54 and Minnesota State Highway 1, are closed.
The North Dakota Department of Transportation warned Monday that floodwater had reached the southbound lanes of Interstate 29 about 25 miles north of Grand Forks. Speeds are reduced and only one lane is open, the release said.
Portions of Minnesota State Highway 75, Highway 220, Highway 317 and Highway 1 are closed because of flooding, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Tom Grafenauer said river levels are expected to remain steady for at least a week in Grand Forks, and it may be two weeks before Grand Forks drops below moderate flood stage.
Grafenauer said the snowfall from last week will likely finish melting by Tuesday and flow into the river Wednesday through Friday, causing a second crest or an increase in river levels. On Monday, the Red River at Grand Forks stood at 44.72 feet. Levels are expected to continue dropping until the weekend, when the river could rise again to 45 feet.
In Oslo, the Red River crested Saturday at 37.81 feet and sat at 37.65 feet Monday afternoon. The water level is predicted to linger in the same range throughout the week.
In Drayton, the Red was at 41.55 feet Monday afternoon and is expected to reach 42.5 feet by Thursday. Major flood stage at Drayton is 42 feet.
In Pembina, the Red measured 44.46 feet Monday afternoon and is predicted to swell to 51 feet by Monday.
Rain is expected to hit the region Wednesday, but Grafenauer said it likely won't impact flood levels. There could be up to half an inch of rainfall.
Grafenauer said it's been a while since the Red River Valley has seen such significant flooding, but the persisting high waters are not unusual. He said storm systems are common throughout the spring, and additional precipitation will keep river levels elevated.