Fargo-Moorhead prepping for manageable floodby Dan Gunderson, Minnesota Public Radio
MOORHEAD, Minn. — The National Weather Service says there's an increased risk of spring flooding in Fargo-Moorhead, but the outlook is not raising major concerns.
Recent heavy snowfalls in the southern Red River Valley mean there's more moisture to flow into rivers during the spring melt.
National Weather Service forecaster Greg Gust says there's a nearly 80 percent chance of major flooding in Fargo-Moorhead. But he told reporters in a conference call Thursday that the levels are still well below record floods of recent years.
"Major flood levels for most people may not be much of an impact because of again the mitigation work that has been going on for these years to pull people back a little bit from the river has been a great help," Gust said.
The projected river levels would not cause significant problems, because the cities have spent millions of dollars to build levees and remove homes near the river.
Minnesota Homeland Security Director Kris Eide said the agency will evaluate the increased risk.
"Because with all the mitigation we've done over the last 10 years or so we've been finding that even though it might be major flooding the impacts are less," Eide said.
Above-normal precipitation in the next few weeks, or an unusually rapid spring melt could cause problems. But local emergency managers say at this point, they're planning for a very manageable spring flood.