Thursday, March 26, 2009

Red River Valley of the North Flood, 2009: March 26 - 43 Feet?!

"Flood forecast: New crest at Fargo up to 43 feet"
The Associated Press (March 26, 2009)

About 5:20 p.m. Central time -

"FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The National Weather Service has raised its Red River crest forecast at Fargo to as much as 43 feet as North Dakota's largest city struggles to protect itself from potentially disastrous flooding.

"Forecasters had been predicting a crest of 41 feet by Saturday afternoon at Fargo. The new guidance issued Thursday is between 41 and 42 feet, but the weather service says it could go as high as 43 feet...."

"It Could Be Worse"

Red River of the North at Fargo
National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service

At the rate it's rising, the Red River of the North at Fargo will go above the record crest of 40.1 feet tonight, around midnight. And keep rising.

Something that hasn't gotten into the news is that Fargo-Moorhead has bridges connecting the two cities: and states. The Convent Bridge at 52nd Avenue South is already closed.

If I'm reading the numbers right, the bottom of the 1st Avenue bridge went underwater yesterday. The Northern-Pacific and Center Avenue bridge bottoms went under earlier.

The City of Fargo has a page with information about street closings. The news isn't particularly cheerful. The N.P. Avenue Bridge closed yesterday. The 12th Avenue North Toll Bridge closed Monday, the North Broadway Bridge closed Sunday, and the 1st Avenue North bridge closed Saturday. There aren't all that many more ways to get across the Red River there, without a boat.

Interstate Highway 94 was closed earlier this month, until the occasional 10-foot drift was cleared away (WDAY). I haven't heard about I-94 being closed now. I haven't heard that it's still open, either. Still, as we say up here, it could be worse.

2009 Red River Valley of the North Flood - It's Going to be a Big One

Historical Crests from NOAA

By height:
  • 40.10 ft
    • March 7, 1897
  • 39.57 ft
    • March 17, 1997
  • 37.80 ft
    • March 11, 1882
  • 37.34 ft
    • March 15, 1969
  • 37.13 ft
    • March 05, 2006
  • 36.69 ft
    • March 14, 2001
  • 35.39 ft
    • March 9, 1989
  • 34.93 ft
    • March 19, 1979
  • 34.65 ft
    • March 16, 1952
  • 34.41 ft
    • March 2, 1978
By Date:
  • March 11, 1882
    • 37.80 ft
  • March 7, 1897
    • 40.10 ft
  • March 16, 1952
    • 34.65 ft
  • March 15, 1969
    • 37.34 ft
  • March 2, 1978
    • 34.41 ft
  • March 19, 1979
    • 34.93 ft
  • March 9, 1989
    • 35.39 ft
  • March 17, 1997
    • 39.57 ft
  • March 14, 2001
      36.69 ft
  • March 05, 2006
    • 37.13 ft
List of posts about this flood:

4 comments:

legbamel said...

To be fair, they North Broadway and Convent bridges are very low. The former gets closed almost every year. If the Main Avenue bridge gets closed because the river gets that high, we might as well all move out of town, though. (Watch, they'll close it tonight, now.)

Brigid said...

Just out of curiosity, how high is the MSUM campus?

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

legbamel, true enough. All bridges are not created equal. I'm just glad that the Interstate seems to have been engineered with this sort of situation in mind.

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

Brigid,

I haven't been able to find that information. Topographic maps aren't all that common for the Moorhead area, it seem. Not online, anyway.

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