So far, the Red River and its numerous branches have completely swamped large areas of land in both states, creating several temporary islands that can be reached on by boat. The water is continuing to flow north into Manitoba, Canada.
The river first crested at Fargo on Saturday, causing minor damages. Grand Forks should be protected from the expected 52-foot crest by its permanent levees and flood-walls. According to officials, the crest will be the second highest ever recorded.
The protective barriers were first built in 1997 after a record crest higher than 54 feet got past the defenses and flooded two cities in Minnesota. Now, rural areas north and south of Grand Forks are preparing with sandbags, as three roads have already been submerged and 54 have been isolated and can only be reached by boat. North of the city, the floodwaters spread across the flat land, leaving various communities literally miles from land.
Jim Campbell, the emergency manager for Grand Forks, is confident in their flood walls. “The 52 feet forecasted by the Weather Service is not going to pose any problems for the city of Grand Forks.”
Forecasters do not expect much impact from precipitation this week. Peter Rogers, a meteorologist, said “yesterday was dry, today should be mainly dry. There is a cold front coming through today, but any precipitation amounts should be fairly light. The rest of the week should be pretty dry,” he finished.