Minnesota flooding updates for Tuesday, April 5

Posted at 4:55 PM on April 5, 2011 by Jon Gordon

AT A GLANCE: Red River approaches 40 feet at Fargo by Sunday... Mississippi locks shut down to recreational boaters... Better outlook for the Crow... Plug your drains.


4:55 PM: No fun on the river


Flood season is not the time to feed your Huck Finn dreams. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today closed the three Twin Cities lock and dams on the Mississippi River to recreational boating, citing high flows that aren't safe for pleasure craft.

Better outlook for the Crow

The Crow River west of the Twin Cities has been driving some second-crest worries the past week. But crest projections for the Crow River have dropped, state homeland security officials report this afternoon.

The Crow at Delano is now projected to crest at 20 feet on April 9; yesterday the forecast was for a crest of 21.2 feet.

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Crest estimates for the Crow at Mayer and Rockford have also been pulled back.

So, that's the evacuation plan!

After some public consternation, Fargo officials today released the city's flood evacuation plan, the Fargo Forum reports. The plan "spells out the different types of evacuations, routes residents should take out of Fargo and locations where residents without their own transportation should go."

The Forum had chided city leaders recently for holding back on making the plan public. There's also been concern that the police may be so stretched that officers may be unable to enforce a mandatory evacuation.

Red approaches 40 feet by Sunday.

The Red River is projected to reach 39.5 feet by Sunday.

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That would put it close to 1997.

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Flood defenses will reach about 44 feet in Fargo-Moorhead, still higher than what's expected on Sunday. The National Weather Service is talking about a "crest range of 39 to 41 feet" Sunday or Monday, depending on the weekend weather.

Bridge closures, hassles

Fargo officials will close the 1st Avenue North bridge over the Red River on Wednesday morning. The closure of 2nd St. N. "is causing significant traffic delays downtown on 4th St. and Broadway," the city said today as officials asked people to use other routes.

North Dakota National Guard members began 2011 flood duty today in Fargo, working traffic control.

Plug your drains

Even if you're not near the river, you may still be at risk for sewage backup, North Dakota State University warns. "To reduce the possibility of sewage backing into a home, homeowners need to seal areas where sewage can flow in during periods of excessive rains or flooding."

And, just in case you need to brush up, NDSU also has a helpful video on how to build a sandbag dike.



8:00 AM: Weekend snow and rain fuels another crest


crow_at_mayer.png

CBS' Bite of Minnesota reports: "The Minnesota and Crow rivers will likely see their second crests this week. Hit hardest will likely be Mayer on the Crow River, expected to reach 17.4 feet by April 8. Delano is expected to hit 21.2 feet the following day. Second crests on the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers are expected to be similar or lower than the first."


Sandbag convoys fan out over Red River region


MPR's Phil Picardi: Sandbag convoys with flatbed trucks escorted by police are scheduled to roll out in Fargo and Moorhead today. The two cities plan to stack millions of sandbags to defend against Red River flooding. Sandbag delivery is expected to take about four days.


Red River could reach 3rd highest crest


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The rushing water of the Red River will continue to rise well into the weekend. The National Weather Service projects that the Red could reach 48 feet in Grand Forks-East Grand Forks by Sunday or Monday. The weather service is giving the Red a 50-50 chance that it will reach or surpass 51.9 feet. In 1997 the river hit a record crest of 54.35 feet. The Grand Forks Herald reports projected levels along the entire river.
While the weather service projections extend until Monday, April 11, they are not crest predictions or forecasts.

- Wild Rice River at Hendrum, Minn.: 25.53 feet at noon Monday; projected moderate flood stage, 28 feet, Wednesday or Thursday; major flood stage, 32 feet, by late Saturday; 32.8 feet by next Monday morning.

- Red River at Halstad, Minn.: 25.7 feet at 3:30 p.m. Monday; projected to reach flood stage of 26 feet sometime Monday or early today; moderate stage, 32 feet, by early Thursday; major stage, 37.5 feet, by late Friday; 39.7 feet by next Monday.

- Marsh River at Shelly, Minn.: 12.27 feet at 3:30 p.m., Monday; projected flood stage, 14 feet, by Wednesday afternoon; moderate stage, 20.0 feet, by late Thursday; 22.5 feet, just under major stage, by Friday or Saturday.

- Sand Hill River at Climax, Minn.: 12.74 feet at 3 p.m. Monday; projected flood stage, 20 feet, by late Thursday; moderate stage, 25 feet, by late Saturday; 28.7 feet by next Monday. Major flood stage is 30 feet.

- Red Lake River at Crookston: 17.78 feet at 3 p.m. Monday; projected to surpass 21 feet by Wednesday, then level off below 22 feet. Moderate stage is 23 feet.

- Red River at Thompson, N.D.: The river has risen about four feet since Saturday, to 41.36 feet at 3:15 p.m. Monday. No further projections are listed.

- Red River at Grand Forks: 33.56 feet at 3:30 p.m. Monday; projected to surpass moderate flood stage of 40 feet by late Wednesday or early Thursday; to major stage of 46 feet by Saturday or Sunday; to 47.9 feet by next Monday.

- Red River at Oslo, Minn.: 31.47 feet at 3:15 p.m. Monday; projected to continue to climb by about a foot or less per day, reaching 36.1 feet by Sunday or next Monday. Major flood stage is 36 feet.

- Snake River above Warren, Minn., diversion: 68.04 feet at 3:45 p.m. Monday, rising nearly 3 feet since Saturday; projected to reach 68.1 feet overnight and remaining near that level before beginning to slowly recede by Wednesday. Moderate flood stage is 71 feet.

- Snake River at Alvarado, Minn.: 104.35 feet at 3:30 p.m. Monday; projected to reach flood stage (106 feet) by Wednesday; reaching 106.5 feet by Thursday.

- Park River at Grafton, N.D.: 9.44 feet at 3 p.m. Monday; projected to reach flood stage, 12 feet, overnight Saturday; nearing moderate stage, 13.5 feet, by Sunday or Monday.

- Red River at Drayton, N.D.: 32.12 feet at 3:45 p.m. Monday; projected to reach moderate stage, 38 feet, overnight Saturday; reaching 39.4 feet by Monday. Major flood stage is 42 feet.

- Two River at Hallock, Minn.: 805.85 feet at 3 p.m. Monday; projected to reach 808 feet by Thursday, then beginning to level off. Moderate flood stage is 806 feet; major, 810 feet.

- Roseau River at Roseau, Minn.: 13.48 feet at 3:30 p.m. Monday; projected to climb to just under flood stage of 16 feet by the weekend.

- Red River at Pembina, N.D.: 37.72 feet at 3:30 p.m. Monday; projected to reach flood stage, 42 feet, by late Thursday; reaching 46 feet, just under moderate flood stage of 47 feet, by next Monday.



No threat to property expected from Sauk


Folks in St. Cloud are assessing potential damage from flooding and things are looking up. The St. Cloud Times reports, "The Sauk River is set to hit flood stage Thursday, and Stearns County Emergency Management officials are saying there is little threat to public or private property."


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