As the Red River in Fargo-Moorhead crests Wednesday at levels well-below what was forecast last week, local leaders are turning their attention to permanent flood protection.
The U.S. Geological Survey is significantly increasing its assessment of oil and gas reserves in the Williston basin of North Dakota.
The Red River will crest this week in Fargo and Moorhead, several feet lower than originally expected. MPR's Cathy Wurzer spoke with Minnesota Public Radio reporter Dan Gunderson who was in our Moorhead bureau.
Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker said after talks this morning with the National Weather Service, a Red River flood crest forecast of 37 to 38 feet is not a shot in the dark. That may signal another slight reduction in the crest estimates that have been dropping over the past week.
After a revised forecast, Fargo is downsizing efforts to fight. Red River flooding. The revision from the National Weather Service on Wednesday means fewer sandbags will be needed to prepare for a river crest expected late next week.
Conditions in the Red River Valley indicate the communities might be facing a reduced flood risk. The late spring melt could actually be improving the flood outlook.
Flood preparations will move into high gear this week in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Construction crews and volunteers will build emergency sandbag dikes and earthen levees as the communities prepare once again for a possible record Red River flood.
Some Minnesota lawmakers are still hoping to pass tougher gun laws this session, despite a defeat for gun control advocates earlier this week in Washington.
Fargo-area officials have mapped out plans for building clay levees and sandbag dikes to protect against what could be record flooding along the Red River and its tributaries.
The Red River of the North floods nearly every year, and residents who live nearby are used to it. But the trend in recent history is toward ever larger floods and ever higher record crests. If that continues, at some point there will be a Red River flood that Fargo-Moorhead cannot defend against.
The National Weather Service is increasing the flood risk along the Red River because of the delayed spring melt, and nearly double the normal precipitation in the southern Red River Valley in recent weeks.
Minnesota Power is holding public meetings over the next two weeks in northern Minnesota to talk about a proposed 500 kilovolt Great Northern Transmission Line that would run from the northwest corner of the state, to Hermantown.
Locked-out American Crystal Sugar union members are headed back to work after the union voted over the weekend to accept the company's contract offer. Union members, who have been locked out at five factories in the Red River Valley since August 2011, expect a bumpy return to their old jobs.
Locked-out union employees at American Crystal Sugar will be going back to work after approving the company's contract offer on Saturday.
The Minnesota Agriculture Department is encouraging use of a new mapping system to protect organic crops from pesticide drift.