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Spring flood risk still low in Greater Grand Forks

The National Weather Service projects this year's spring flood will be similar to the 2018 season, with minor flooding being the highest risk. There is still the possibility for late-season heavy snow or rainfall, though.

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Grand Forks County Road 33 is surrounded by floodwater in early July after heavy rains passed through the area west of Manvel. Eric Hylden / Grand Forks Herald

As spring approaches the flood risk for the Greater Grand Forks area remains low, according to a spring flood outlook issued Thursday, Feb. 25, by the National Weather Service.

At this time, the 2021 flood season is projected to bring low risk for significant snowmelt, similar to the 2018 season. This winter has been highlighted by mild and abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions. Snowfall through late February is far below average amounts. However, the meager snowpack and cold air has allowed for deeper frost penetration into the soil.

Last year, the Red River crested at 47.57 feet at Grand Forks, the eighth worst flood on record. But in 2018, which had a similar winter to this year, the river crested at 18.64 feet.

This season is a turnaround from 2019, the region's wettest year on record, and a Top 10 flood in 2020. Dry conditions throughout 2020 summer and fall depleted residual moisture in the soil.

The National Weather Service will issue its next spring flood outlook on March 11.

Related Topics: GRAND FORKS
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