2019 Flood Outlook Predicts Major Flood on Red River

Snowstorm after snowstorm followed by temperatures well below average.

So far this winter we’ve seen the perfect conditions for the snow to continue to pile up.

“Typical scenario would already have us starting to get an average high temperature above 32 degrees. We should start seeing some melting and refreezing at night in the coming week. Well, we’re not going to see that,” warning coordinator meteorologist Greg Gust said.

And with the chance of more snow this weekend and next week our chances of seeing a major flood have increased. The National Weather Service says there’s a 50 percent chance of seeing the Red River rise to 35 feet in Fargo.

The flood walls downtown are constructed to withstand up to a 45 foot flood. However, the waters don’t need to get that high before the effects are felt in the city.

“At 35 feet there would be a little bit of work required from the city on some minor isolated ditch areas” said Fargo city division engineer┬áNathan Boerboom.

If the flood waters rise above 35 feet temporary levees would be needed, and at higher levels sandbags would likely be needed as well. But while many people may think back to major floods in the past and be concerned, both Fargo and Grand Forks have made huge efforts to protect against floods.

“We’re in a much better position. ’97 we didn’t have that type of infrastructure in place. But on the countryside though, there’s still going to be a lot of places that are going to be seeing water moving over roads and there may be people having to sandbag here and there,” said Gust.

The full spring flood outlook can be found here.

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