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Spring Flood Outlook and Resources to Help Prepare and Recover

Figure. The drainage basin for the Red River of the North (image credit: USGS).

The March 15 forecast provided by the National Weather Service’s Hydrologic Prediction Service predicts that -provided we receive no significant rain events and the spring thaw continues at a slow and steady pace- the Red River of the North has a 95% chance of exceeding major flood stages of 30, 37, 36 and 49 feet in Fargo, Halstad, Olso, and Pembina, respectively; East Grand Forks and Drayton have a 95% chance of coming within inches of major flood stages of 46 and 42 feet, respectively. The National Weather Service also provides hydrologic assessments of flooding probabilities for other major rivers, such as the Red Lake River, that meander through regional population centers.

Extension resources for preparing for floods and other natural disasters.

Many of the people that are residents of these riverine communities have had previous experience with flooding and/or have likely made plans so that their families and property is better able to weather future floods.In the Red River Valley the very flat topography means that many rural residents have also had to contend with overland flooding.

In an effort to help all Minnesotans University of Minnesota Extension has compiled information that can help people to plan ahead for such events including: creating a family plan, reviewing your insurance, creating a household and property inventory, tips for older adults, starting an emergency fund and making a grab and go file.

Dr. Lori Hendrickson, a family resiliency professor with University of Minnesota was recently interviewed by Minnesota Public Radio and discussed the best ways to make sure that you and your family, your home and your pets are prepared for a flood.

Additional topics that may aid in recovering after a flood include:

Repairing flooded lawns

Toolkit: Helping families recover financially after a disaster

Cleaning up after a flood

Flood resources prepared by NDSU Extension can be found here and include getting your sump pump ready for spring, how to safely and effectively sandbag and how best to prepare your home.

Flood resources prepared by SDSU Extension can be found here and include dealing with cleaning up after a flood, flood safety and checking and treating domestic water supplies after a flood.


National Weather Service. Fargo-Grand Forks Field Office. Probabilistic Flood Outlook Summary. 2019. Online. {Accessed March 27, 2019}.
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