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Outlook Shows Low Flood Risk for Moorhead - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Outlook Shows Low Flood Risk for Moorhead

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The National Weather Service has issued an update to its flood forecast for the Red River Basin.  As of March 21, 2013, there is a 50% chance that the river will reach 38.1 feet, and a 5 - 10% chance the river will reach 41 feet.

Right now, The National Weather Service says Moorhead is in a great position.  The City of Moorhead continues to monitor flood forecasts and will continue communication updates with those potentially affected residents and the public. 

Moorhead's projected flood impact is low. The City's need for temporary protective measures (clay levees/sandbags) has been dramatically reduced by $80 million of investments in the past four years financed by the City and the State of Minnesota.

As indicated by warming weather conditions and more precise information from the National Weather Service in the coming days and weeks, the City of Moorhead will stage equipment to clear ditch systems of snow, closing storm water gates and monitoring pump stations that protect city infrastructure.  The City has 400,000 filled sandbags in storage, which addresses the projected sandbag need even at a 41 foot river crest (5 - 10% chance). 

Additional Details:

  • With more than 14,000 households in the City of Moorhead, only 7 are affected by a river stage of 38 feet (50% chance) and only 33,000 sandbags are needed community wide and no city infrastructure is at risk.  Prior to the mitigation work that has been conducted in the past four years, the number of homes affected at 38 feet was 140, and 670,000 sandbags would have been required.   
  • With river stages greater than 38 feet, the differences are even more dramatic: 
River Stage (ft) Top of Levee Properties affected Sandbags Needed
38 40 7 33,000
39 41 12 63,000
40 42 38 163,000
41 43 81 361,000

*Estimates are likely higher than actual need.

  • Properties affected at the 41 foot river level (5 - 10% chance) are located in primarily in central and southwest Moorhead.   

This information is current as of March 21, 2013.

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