Rivers across North Dakota, Minnesota expected to crest later in the week
As the Red Lake River in Crookston, Minnesota has already crested, several other rivers across the region are expected to crest as well
GRAND FORKS — Several rivers across North Dakota and Minnesota are expected to crest within the week as river levels have gone up throughout the region with recent melting snow and rain.
The Red River in the Greater Grand Forks area is expected to crest by midweek, according to Greg Gust with the National Weather Service.
As of Monday morning, April 25, the Red River level in the Greater Grand Forks area was at 43.9 feet and the river is expected to crest at 48.5 feet by late Wednesday into early Thursday. While the river level is entering the major flood stage, which according to the NWS is 46 feet, the level is still lower than the historic crest of 54.3 feet on April 22, 1997. In Grand Forks, minor flood stage happens at 28 feet and moderate flood stage is at 40 feet.
During a webinar to provide updates on flooding in the Red River basin, Gust said the Red is still rising from Halstad, Minnesota into Grand Forks, but the weather service is currently confident of the timing of the crest.
“We’re still pretty confident on that crest coming into Grand Forks right about the middle part of the week on Wednesday,” he said.
Gust said typically river levels stay higher for longer amounts of time when the snow melts before falling slowly, but during the summer, river levels rise and then sharply decline. Right now the river levels are somewhere in between.
“We have a little bit of a winter phenomenon going on as well as the summer so it stays off and it should start dropping off fairly quickly, we’ll see,” Gust said.
The Sorlie and Point bridges have been closed in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks as a result of the high water levels. The Kennedy Bridge, along Gateway Drive, remains open.
Farther north in Oslo, Minnesota, the Red River level is in a major flooding stage at 36.53 feet and is expected to crest later in the week at 38 feet, which is just below the record of 38.4 feet set in 2009. Road closures will occur in the area as the river widens, Gust said.
“We don’t have reports on what type of road closures are in place there yet, but that should be occurring,” Gust said.
As of Monday morning, Gust said the weather service wasn't aware of any impacts to the Interstate 29 corridor from the flooding in Oslo, but it may be impacted soon.
The Minnesota cities of Warren and Alvarado are both in moderate flooding stages with the Snake River level in Alvarado at 109.61 feet and expected to crest later in the week at 110.3 feet. The Snake River in Warren has crested at 71.02 feet and was expected to go down to 70.2 feet by late Monday.
In Hallock, Two Rivers is in a minor flood stage at an elevation of 805.86 feet above sea level as of Monday at noon, though it is expected to rise into moderate flood stage because of outflow from Lake Bronson. The river is expected to crest later in the week.
The Red River in Pembina was at 42.18 feet as of Monday afternoon. It expected to crest into early next week at 49.8 feet, which is considered major flood stage.
Currently, Gust said the weather service is tracking incoming precipitation expected in the region later in the week and how that may impact river levels north of Grand Forks.
“Everything north of Grand Forks, those crests could be affected by rainfall coming in here at the end of this week,” he said.
Southern Red River Valley
The Goose River in Hillsboro is in a moderate flood stage at 15.55 feet, just below major flood stage at 16 feet. The river is expected to crest late Monday into Tuesday at 16.3 feet. The record crest of Goose River was 16.8 feet in 1979.
Crookston and Fisher
The Red Lake River in Crookston crested at 27.07 feet late Sunday night into early Monday morning, which is the third highest crest on record. The highest crest was at 28.40 feet on April 17, 1997. The river level was at 26.22 feet on Monday morning and the weather service estimates that the river will continue to fall throughout the week. In Crookston, the Red Lake River hits minor flood stage at 15 feet, moderate stage at 20 feet and major flood stage at 23 feet.
The Red Lake River in Fisher just south of Crookston is currently at 42.25 feet and is expected to rise slightly over the next 12-24 hours.
Members of the Minnesota National Guard were working in both communities to help flood protection efforts on Sunday and Monday.