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While river forecasts improve for Red River Valley, additional rainfall will keep some rivers high

Gust noted that most of the river systems are coming down steadily and even though this latest round of rain is “pretty significant and widespread,” it’s likely that there will be more "localized ponding" and aerial flooding rather than widespread flooding as the area has seen in the last two weeks.

Cavalier flooding 3.jpg
Flooding in Cavalier is shown from above the last week of April 2022.
Photo courtesy of Kyle Gagner
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GRAND FORKS — More rain means rivers may go back up slightly in the coming days in the Red River Valley, the National Weather Service said in a flood update on Monday, May 9.

The weather service’s Greg Gust, who is based in Grand Forks, said overall river levels have been dropping across the Red River Valley over the past several days. However, new rain last weekend and into early this week may bump rivers back up, but this time the rise will likely not be as dramatic though, Gust said.

“The river forecasts in general, they are actually showing improvement from last week in most areas,” Gust said. “It's just that the problem is we're getting additional rainfall so it's keeping some of them high.”

Gust noted that most of the river systems are coming down steadily and even though this latest round of rain is “pretty significant and widespread,” it’s likely that there will be more "localized ponding" and aerial flooding rather than widespread flooding as the area has seen in the last two weeks.

As of Monday afternoon, rain had already begun falling in Grand Forks and other parts of the northern Red River Valley. Winds are expected to pick up throughout the day, with gusts potentially reaching 45 mph.

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The National Weather Service's forecast calls for showers and possibly a thunderstorm in the Greater Grand Forks region before 3 p.m., followed by a chance of showers after 3 p.m. Rainfall amounts could be between a half-inch to three-quarters of an inch.

Fargo received around an inch to 1.5 inches of rain through Monday morning, according to the weather service. Grand Forks had received slightly less rain.

But the rain means soil in northeast North Dakota will likely remain saturated in the coming days.

Will northeast North Dakota, which has seen extensive overland flooding in the last two weeks, see any relief and drying soon? Gust noted it isn’t exactly clear.

In the next six to 10 days, temperatures and precipitation amounts are expected to be at or just below normal, Gust said.

“I’m going to be flipping coins on that one, folks,” Gust said. “There’s a lot of ‘lakes’ out there, a lot of water.”

River levels

The Red River at Grand Forks/East Grand Forks was sitting in moderate flood stage at about 40.35 feet as of Monday at 11:45 a.m. The river, which had been dropping since last week, is expected to rise slightly to around 41.8 feet in the next few days. That is well below the major flood stage, which occurs at 46 feet in Grand Forks.

Additionally, crews in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks opened the Sorlie Bridge on Monday afternoon. The bridge had been closed for about two weeks due to high river levels.

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In Oslo, the Red River has also been declining slightly over the past few days, but is expected to see a slight bump by the end of the week. The river was measured at 36.16 feet on Monday morning. It is expected to dip down for a couple more days before rising to about 36.4 feet around Friday. Roads around the Minnesota city are beginning to reopen, including Highway 1.

The Red Lake River at Crookston, which rose quickly about two weeks ago, had dropped past minor flood stage late last week. While the river is expected to rise back to just below moderate flood stage at 19.9 feet during the middle of the week. Moderate flood stage occurs at 20 feet for the Red Lake River.

Related Topics: FLOODING
Sydney Mook has been the managing editor at the Herald since April 2021. In her role she edits and assigns stories and helps reporters develop their work for readers.

Mook has been with the Herald since May 2018 and was first hired as the Herald's higher education reporter where she covered UND and other happenings in state higher education. She was later promoted to community editor in 2019.


For story pitches contact her at smook@gfherald.com or call her at 701-780-1134.
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