The Associated Press and The Free Press
The spring flood risk remains very high according to the latest flood outlook released this week by the National Weather Service.
All along the Minnesota River there is near certainty of spring flooding as the ground remains soggy, river levels high and plenty of snow is on the landscape. From February to April there is a 67% chance of flooding in Mankato, a 90% chance in New Ulm and a 93% chance in Henderson, according to the outlook.
A top five flood is still possible in the Red River Valley, even though there have been no storms there since mid-January and the short-term forecast is favorable.
Precipitation has been below normal for the last four weeks but has done little to change the rankings for one of the wettest fall and winter seasons on record, the weather service said. Fargo’s moisture totals since Sept. 1 fell from No. 2 to No. 3 all-time, but the Grand Forks area remains No. 1 historically for that period.
The uneventful weather is expected to continue for at least two weeks before the likely onset of colder and wetter conditions into spring, said Amanda Lee, weather service hydrologist.
“We are starting to run out of winter thankfully, but we still have to worry about spring,” Lee said. “It’s not completely off the table yet. This top five flood could still happen.”
The Red River Valley has seen several major floods in the last 25 years, including the 1997 flood and fire that devastated Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, Minnesota. The Fargo and Moorhead, Minnesota, area survived record flooding in 2009.
The next flood outlook is due Feb. 27.