City crews will begin the flood fight in the northern valley this week. Despite a permanent levee system protecting Greater Grand Forks, city crews still need to start installing flood walls.
There's now a 50-percent chance the Red River here in Grand Forks will hit 49-feet. That's five and a half feet below the record 1997 flood. It's a level easily defended by the city's flood protection system of 60-feet. However, it's now almost a sure bet that 2 of the city's 3 bridges will be closed to cars and people.
Kevin Dean, City of Grand Forks: "It's not going to be the easiest thing to do perhaps. But, even if we just have the one bridge that's open, we've proved before that we can do that. We cn make it work again."
Here on the south end of downtown, the flood gates will go in and the Point Bridge will close, if the Red hits 43-feet. Then, the Sorlie Bridge, connecting downtown Grand Forks-East Grand Forks will be closed, if the Red hits 46-feet.
It could mean that all traffic would be routed over the Kennedy Bridge on Highway 2.
Kevin Dean: "We just simply need people to take their time, leave a little more time to get where they're going and it will work out just fine."
The rising Red also means East Grand Forks city crews will start installing the flood wall downtown on Thursday.
Scott Huizenga, City of East Grand Forks: "The idea there is to just get a jump start on that particular project, so we can get that one up early and focus on the roadway closures after that."
Dramatic changes are on the way, as the Red is expected to quickly rise over the next couple of weeks.