On days like this it's hard to believe the Red River will ever be free of ice. But, when spring does come, river forecasters say the Red shouldn't be a problem. There's only a low to minor chance of flooding from Wahpeton to Pembina, barring any major spring rains.
Greg Gust, National Weather Service: "Two, 3-inch rain over a county or sub-basin… that could push that local area into moderate to major flooding as a possibility."
Overall, it's good news for thousands of folks who are tired of battling the Red. However, officials gathered here at the Red River Basin Summit admit, it does make lobbying for a new 1.8-billion dollar Fargo-Moorhead diversion project a tougher sell.
Pat Zavoral, Fargo City Administrator: "If you don't have a catastrophe people think that you don't need it. We've been very successful in protecting ourselves, so…"
Zavoral says they'll just have to keep hammering home their message, in order to get their hands on Federal money for the project.
Pat Zavoral: "The consequences of not protecting or not having a diversion to the State and to the region would be critical if we were to have a flood and Fargo did have a massive or catastrophic failure."
Zavoral says Fargo does rank high on the list for federal funding for a diversion project. But, until a project is actually finished, the possibility of another Fargo-Moorhead flood fight always remains.
The latest flood forecast also has some good news for farmers. It's calling for enough moisture this spring to get crops off to a good start. However, the report also says things could get pretty dry, later this summer.