Forecast: Second crest on Red in mid-April
Fargo, N.D. (AP) — The Red River is dropping at Fargo, but forecasters say there's a good chance it'll be back in the danger range in mid-April.
The river hit nearly 41 feet this week and remains a flooding threat even though it's on a steady fall.
The National Weather Service said Monday that snowmelt and future storms make a second crest of more than 37 feet likely.
In what they call a worst-case scenario, enough rain would fall to push the Red to 40 to 41 feet again by mid-April.
told reporters at a press briefing this afternoon that the expectation of a second crest is based on information from the National Weather Service.
Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker said at a press briefing this afternoon that he expects water levels will drop for a few days, but as snow starts to melt into the watershed, it will rise again. However, the mayor also added that second crest probably won't be as high as the first crest, which happened over the weekend at 40.82 feet. In 1997, the second crest was higher than the first.
So far, rescue agencies have evacuated 155 people by both boat and helicopter. The U.S Coast Guard was responsible for 93 of those evacuations.
The commander of North Dakota's National Guard is also expecting the Red River to rise again from melting ice and snow and an expected snowstorm this week.
Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk says the snowstorm "does raise a great concern" about adding water to already flooding streams.
"We will see a second crest. What we don't know yet is when or how high it will be," Sprynczynatyk told state legislators today.
The Guard commander estimated the state has spent at least $40 million so far on flood-fighting efforts.
Sprynczynatyk is the former chief engineer of the North Dakota Water Commission.
He describes this year's snowfall and flooding as "truly epic in nature." He says the state is winning the flood fight, but it is far from over.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)