Minn. officials: Risk of spring flooding highby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Flood forecasters say the chances of major flooding again this year in the Fargo-Moorhead area are high.
They also say there's a 10 percent chance the Red River could rise even higher than last year. National Weather Service and state emergency management officials urge people in the Red River valley to brace for back-to-back flood years.
"One of our challenges with floods every year is how wet is our fall, and now we have had back to back very wet falls," said Dan Luna with the National Weather Service. "In face we've had some very wet conditions for the last 15 years across the Upper Midwest, and that's leading to these repeat flood events every spring."
Forecasters also say there is a 10 percent chance of a repeat of the 2001 floods of the Crow River at Delano. The Minnesota River in Montevideo has a 1 in 20 chance of topping the 2001 flood there.
They also said there's a 1 in 25 chance that the Red River could top the catastrophic 1997 flooding in the Grand Forks area this year.
Levees now protect Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, but state officials say people in other areas should start thinking about flood insurance.
Kent Lokkesmoe, director of waters for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, said flood insurance is available virtually everywhere in Minnesota threatened by high water.
"Buy now, and protect yourself," Lokkesmoe said. "There is some personal responsibility. You can't always count on government to bail you out."