WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Some flooding is being reported in North Dakota in communities along the Red River of the North, however, it appears to be minor at this point and impacting few if any structures. There are reports of road closures, which are isolating some houses in the rural areas. As of yesterday, the Red River levels were above flood stage at several points along the river. At Grand Forks, ND, the level was 43.7 feet, or nearly 16 feet above flood stage. At Oslo, Minn., the water was 8.1 feet above flood stage, and at Drayton, ND, the level was 3.1 feet higher than the 32-foot flood stage. At Pembina, ND, near the Canadian border, the river remained below flood stage, but only by 3.5 feet.
Officials with the National Weather Service (NWS) are predicting a rise in the river at all of those locations in the coming days. The river is expected to crest at Grand Forks between April 2 & 3, and at Pembina, its furthest point north in the US, between April 7 & 9.
Sandbagging operations are underway in Walsh and McHenry counties, and Walsh County officials have issued an emergency declaration. In Pembina County, officials are conducting inspections of the dikes looking for problem areas. No incidents of river encroachment are reported.
In Minnesota, operations are underway in East Grand Forks to pump out the city's storm sewer system in an effort to accommodate future precipitation.
The US Army Corps of Engineers is providing technical assistance.
NWS forecast calls for more rain and snow across the area beginning today and continuing through Sunday. At or below-freezing temperatures in the coming days will tend to retard the rise in river levels. However, should large amounts of ice form on the rivers, the subsequent thaw could create ice jams, pushing waterways toward flood stage in a short amount of time.
FEMA's regional offices in Chicago and Denver (Regions V and Region VIII) continue to monitor the situation.