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Sheyenne, Maple rivers to see milder flooding under new forecast

Two dams on the Maple River, one northeast of Enderlin and the Upper Maple River Dam near Hope, have been doing a good job of moderating flooding impacts along the Maple River.

Upper Maple River Dam8.JPG
Water flows over the Upper Maple River Dam near Hope, North Dakota, on Monday, May 2, 2022.
Contributed / Moore Engineering
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HARWOOD, N.D. — Cass County Engineer Jason Benson, who has been at the forefront of the county's flood-fighting efforts this spring, provided an upbeat flood update on Monday, May 2.

He said the flood forecast from the day before, which anticipated the Sheyenne River might crest at 91.4 feet on Tuesday or Wednesday, had changed.

The updated forecast called for the river to crest at 90 feet on Tuesday and then drop to about 89 feet, where it is likely to stay until next week before continuing to fall.

Flood waters nearly overflow the banks of the Sheyenne River just south of Kindred, N.D., along the state Highway 46 bridge on Sunday evening, May 1, 2022.
Barry Amundson / The Forum

Under the new forecast, Benson said, far fewer roads are expected to be impacted by flooding in the West Fargo and Harwood areas.

"We don't anticipate we'll see as many roads over-topped by water or washed out," he said.


Benson said the flood forecast for the Sheyenne River at Kindred was also modified Monday, but not as drastically as the forecast for the Harwood area.

The river at Kindred had been forecast to crest at 21.2 feet early this week, he said. The new forecast calls for the Sheyenne to rise more slowly and crest at 21 feet sometime Friday.

Even though rain was expected late this coming weekend, he said, the additional precipitation is not likely to significantly change the flood outlook.

Benson noted that two dams on the Maple River, one northeast of Enderlin and the Upper Maple River Dam near Hope, have done a good job of moderating flooding impacts along the Maple River, which already saw its first crest at Mapleton.

He said water was flowing through the spillway of the Upper Maple River Dam on Monday, per the dam's design, and the Maple River was expected to start flowing through the spillway of the Maple River Dam near Enderlin soon, which will likely result in a second crest for the Maple River.

Maple River Dam8.JPG
The Maple River Dam near Enderlin, North Dakta, in late April 2022. The dam's spillway, at left, was still dry when this photo was taken, but the river was expected to start entering the spillway sometime during the first week in May.
Contributed / Moore Engineering

"Both of those (dams) are providing a lot of benefit to the Mapleton area and the Harwood area, where the Maple River goes into the Sheyenne," he said, noting the dam near Enderlin was completed around 2006 and the dam near Hope was completed in 2015.

While flooding impacts on roads around West Fargo and Harwood aren't expected to be as bad as initially projected, he said, wet conditions will still leave roads vulnerable to damage.

"If you don't have to go down some of these roads, we definitely encourage you not to," he said.

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