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East Grand Forks floodwall work to begin Thursday

The planned installation of the "invisible floodwall" in downtown East Grand Forks this week is not because high water is arriving sooner than anticipated.

2013 Floods

The planned installation of the "invisible floodwall" in downtown East Grand Forks this week is not because high water is arriving sooner than anticipated.

Instead, it's a matter of holding down overtime.

According to the city's action plan, the protection along the boardwalk goes up when the Red River reaches a 43.5-foot level. The Red will be far short of that threshold this week, but the work is scheduled to start Thursday and be completed in 2-3 days.

"Our logic is to get ahead of the game and do the work during regular business hours to avoid overtime," said Scott Huizenga, city administrator.

The sections of the floodwall installed only during high water times are known locally as the "invisible floodwall."

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Although most of the work will be done early, DeMers Avenue and the Sorlie Bridge will remain open until the 43.5-foot level is reached. Water touches the installed floodwall at 46 feet.

The first road in East Grand Forks to close because of flooding is the Fourth Street underpass at Gateway Drive. That happens at a 34-foot river level.

The first major traffic rerouting happens at 40 feet, when the Point Bridge is closed. The Louis Murray Bridge, the other direct route to the Point, closes at 48.5 feet.

The National Weather Service said the Red River has a 50 percent chance of reaching 49 feet at Grand Forks-East Grand Forks.

The local flood protection system has been certified by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to 60 feet.

Flood-related updates are available on the flood page of the city's website or at City Hall. Information also is available via Facebook and Twitter .

Call Bakken at (701) 780-1125; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1125; or send email to rbakken@gfherald.com .

Related Topics: EAST GRAND FORKS
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