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1997 Grand Forks Flood By The Numbers

Below are figures that encapsulate the impact of the 1997 flood in Grand Forks.

  • Red River crested at 54.35 feet. Earthen levees in place could protect to a level of 52 feet (49 feet for levee + 3 feet of freeboard)
     
  • Water rise was 1 inch/hour (2 feet/day) during flooding
     
  • 3.5 million sandbags (17,500 tons of sand) plus 170,000 cubic yards of clay and 20,000 cubic yards of gravel used to fight the flood
     
  • 90 percent of Grand Forks’ 52,500 residents evacuated; all 9,000 East Grand Forks residents evacuated.
     
  • 83 percent (9,001) of Grand Forks homes and 62 percent (751) of the city’s commercial units damaged
     
  • All 385 businesses in downtown Grand Forks impacted (400,000 sq. ft of space)
     
  • 11 historic buildings and 60 apartments burned
     
  • No water for 13 days; no drinkable water for 23 days
     
  • More than $74 million damage to Grand Forks Public School District (16 of 22 schools significantly damaged)
     
  • More than $48 million damage to University of North Dakota (72 state-owned buildings)
     
  • More than 20,000 volunteers came to the community to help clean up and rebuild
     
  • 60,000 tons of flood debris hauled to landfill
Last Updated: 
02/13/2019 - 08:05