FARGO —Significant autumn rainfall combined with moisture from this past weekend's snowstorm could result in unusual fall flooding among many area rivers, according to the National Weather Service as well as a statement released by Cass County.
Rivers are not expected to reach levels seen last spring, but there will be significant risk of flooding in rural areas, with water topping roads and barring access to some rural properties, the Cass County statement said.
According to information in the release:
The Sheyenne River at Harwood will likely crest at 90 feet sometime this week, while the Maple River in Mapleton appeared to crest Monday, Oct. 14 at about 21.1 feet.
Meanwhile, the Sheyenne River at Kindred is expected to crest soon at 19 feet, and the Sheyenne is anticipated to remain high for the next several weeks in Horace, West Fargo and Harwood.
Minor to moderate flooding is expected on the Red River and the Wild Rice River in Cass County.
The Cass County website has an interactive map feature that will show where roads are impacted by flooding. As of Monday afternoon, Oct. 14, the map did not show any roads closed because of flooding.
In Moorhead, city officials announced Monday that the Third Street underpass was closed due to high water on the Red River.
The Red River's level was 22.1 feet Monday morning and a crest of about 23 feet was predicted between Tuesday and Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.
Carl Jones, a meteorologist with the Weather Service in Grand Forks, said fall river levels are not normally tracked in terms of records, but he said it is obvious that levels are high for this time of year, due to rainfall and moisture from recent snow.
"It's pretty unusual," said Jones, who added that significant precipitation is not expected in the area again until sometime next week.
Moorhead officials said Monday the floodgate and pump station that keeps the Red River from backing into the First Avenue North underpass had been activated and traffic on First Avenue North was not expected to be affected by rising water.
The road to Gooseberry Park may eventually have to be closed, but no other road closures were expected in Moorhead, city officials said.
The Third Street underpass is to reopen once the river recedes. In Fargo-Moorhead, minor flood stage begins at 18 feet and moderate flood stage begins at 25 feet.
Cass County officials encouraged residents to remain vigilant while traveling roads in the county, as some roads have washouts while others have extremely soft driving surfaces due to the wet conditions.
A water rescue this past weekend in which the Cass County Sheriff's Office assisted Traill County authorities in dealing with a vehicle that had become submerged was an indicator of how dangerous high water can be, the Cass County statement said.
Cass County residents with flood questions can visit the county website at www.casscountynd.gov, or call the county flood hotline at 701-241-8000. The hotline is answered from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.