Red River levels to remain high throughout week

In Grand Forks, the Red River of the North is expected to remain around 41 feet through the week, above the moderate flood stage of 40 feet.

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Traffic moves across the Sorlie Bridge in downtown Grand Forks/East Grand Forks as the Red River flood level remains steady Monday, April 24, 2023.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS — River levels in Grand Forks and Oslo, Minnesota, are expected to remain high through the week as snow continues to melt.

In Grand Forks, the Red River of the North is expected to remain around 41 feet through the week, above the moderate flood stage of 40 feet. North of Grand Forks in Oslo, the Red River is hovering just above the major flood stage, which starts at 36 feet. Even with a chance for rain later in the week, the river is not expected to rise much higher, said Amanda Lee, service hydrologist for the National Weather Service in Grand Forks.

“Grand Forks and Oslo are kind of just hovering around their peak level, and are expected to stay there for quite some time,” said Lee. “That’s because of the flood wave making its way down the Red.”

The petition, signed by more than 50 Lake Region landowners and farmers at a meeting earlier in May, was presented at the Devils Lake Outlets Management Advisory Committee meeting in Devils Lake.

On Monday, April 24, at 11:45 a.m., the Red River was at 40.8 feet in Grand Forks. The major flood stage starts at 46 feet. In Oslo, a gauge reading at 11:15 a.m. showed the river at 36.2 feet. Monday’s flood forecast shows the river remaining above 36 feet for the next seven days.

There is no precipitation forecast in the beginning of the week, but by midweek, chances for precipitation increase. Lee said temperatures have warmed enough for that precipitation to fall as rain, and a tenth- to quarter-inch is possible across the Red River basin.


“We’re not expecting that amount of liquid precipitation to do too much to river levels — might just keep them elevated for a little while longer,” Lee said.

Temperatures, while still lower than normal, will rise throughout the week, reaching into the 50s. Usually by the end of April, temperatures reach the low 60s, Lee said.

High water around Oslo has resulted in some road closures. On Thursday, April 20, Minnesota Department of Transportation crews closed Highways 220 and 317 north of Oslo due to flooding. North Dakota State Highway 54 is covered at 36.5 feet.

Farther north, the Red River is still rising at Drayton and Pembina. Crests at those locations could arrive late in the week and early next week.

“The timing of that will be dependent on this precipitation, but likely lingering into early next week,” Lee said.

The Red River at Drayton rose above the moderate flood stage of 38 feet on Monday. It is expected to continue to rise over the next seven days to a height of 40 feet. Major flooding in Drayton starts at 42 feet.

The Red River at Pembina reached 42.5 feet on Monday morning, considered minor flooding. The river is projected to cross the moderate flood stage of 44 feet on Tuesday, April 25, and continue to rise through the week. Major flooding in Pembina starts at 49 feet.

As flooding continues, stay up to date with North Dakota and Minnesota road conditions at and .

Ingrid Harbo joined the Grand Forks Herald in September 2021.

Harbo covers Grand Forks region news, and also writes about business in Grand Forks and the surrounding area.

Readers can reach Harbo at 701-780-1124 or Follow her on Twitter @ingridaharbo.
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