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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

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The level of the Red River is marked Sunday, April 24, 2022, on the flood obelisk near the Sorlie Bridge in downtown Grand Forks.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
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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.

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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.

Red River flooding Sunday
The Red River goes over the Greenway walking path near the Sorlie Bridge on Sunday, April 24.
Sydney Mook / Grand Forks Herald

Northern Valley

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.

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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.

READ MORE FLOOD STORIES
Officials gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony for the 30-mile diversion channel that is an integral part of the $3.2 billion metro flood diversion project.

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

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Volunteers work to sandbag a low-lying area of Crookston along the Red Lake River near downtown Sunday, April 24, 2022.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

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.

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Members of the Minnesota National Guard were working in both communities to help flood protection efforts on Sunday and Monday.

National Guard at Crookston
The Minnesota National Guard was activated to Crookston on Sunday evening to help with sandbagging efforts there.
Submitted photo by Matthew Leiphon

Meghan Arbegast grew up in Security-Widefield, Colorado. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from North Dakota State University in Fargo, in 2021.

Arbegast wrote for The Spectrum, NDSU's student newspaper, for three years and was Head News Editor for two years. She was an intern with University Relations her last two semesters of college.

Arbegast covers news pertaining to the city of Grand Forks/East Grand Forks including city hall coverage.

Readers can reach Arbegast at 719-235-8640 or MArbegast@gfherald.com.

Pronouns: She/Her
Languages: English
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