Historic is the worst word in weather vocabulary.

Whether it's historic rainfall, snowfall, cold, or heat, any natural event that qualifies as historic often has disastrous effects on people and property. Many communities along the North Dakota/Minnesota border are now facing historic river levels and are mobilizing efforts to keep that rising water within the riverbank.

Grand Forks is now looking at river levels to rival the disastrous 1997 floods.

All eyes in Grand Forks are on the rising Red River where projections have the river rising to 48.5 feet by midweek. That would be the sixth-highest level in recorded history it will certainly challenge the flood prevention measures that have been put in place since the destruction experienced in the region just 25 years ago.

The Red Lake River is already breaching its banks flooding roads and communities.

The Minnesota National Guard has been deployed to assist the city of Crookston with its flood battle. The Red Lake River is expected to reach a record level of 28.5 feet by 3 p.m. Monday afternoon. Flood stage is only 15 feet, so Crookston will no doubt see its fair share of damage during this event.

Many bridges and roadways have already been closed in Grand Forks.

Our broadcast partners at the Red River Farm Network released the following this morning:

 Excessive rainfall and ongoing snowmelt have resulted in widespread overland flooding of the Red River. According to the National Weather Service. the Crookston and Warren, Minnesota areas are preparing for the potential of record flooding.

Major flooding is anticipated in Oslo, Minnesota; Grand Forks, Drayton and Pembina, North Dakota. The National Weather Service is forecasting streams and rivers to continue rising over the course of the week.

As a longtime resident of Minot, North Dakota, I can speak of living under an ongoing threat of flooding and hoping the measures taken to prevent future flood events are successful. Clearly, the devastating flood of 2011 showed that precautions often are not enough when adverse weather factors converge.  Canadian flood warnings currently stretch up to an area just south of Winnipeg.

The National Weather Service has also issued a flood advisory for today including the following cities.

Some locations that will experience flooding include... 
Valley City, Mayville, Hillsboro, Thompson, Cooperstown, 
Hatton, Portland, Golden Lake, Finley, Arthur, Buxton, 
Reynolds, Hunter, Hope, Tower City, Page, Argusville, 
Wimbledon, Sanborn and Buffalo.

We can certainly hope for an end soon to rainfall in the area.  After 2021-22 drought conditions, we have been rightfully programmed to offer up this little gem- "we could use the moisture". Maybe we put that thought on hold for a least a little while.

One more thing, The term "100 Year Flood" doesn't mean what you think it does.

I remember thinking during the Minot and Bismarck flood events of 2011 that it hadn't been 100 years since Minot was destroyed in 1969! I'm sure residents of Grand Forks are wondering the same thing.  Let's have FEMA clear up the confusion.

I use the term “100-year flood zone daily for elevation certificates, LOMA’s, and explaining flood maps.  But it doesn't mean what you might think. 

 

 It means there is a 1% chance you will see a flood like the one on the FEMA flood map each and every year.  

 

Since 1% is also "1 out of 100", the term "100-year flood" was adopted because that's easier to talk about than rattling off a bunch of statistics.

So whatever the year we are always at the mercy of Mother Nature.


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