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Flood threat rising in Upper Midwest

Several state, US highways closed from North Dakota to Minnesota

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Heavy rain has caused flooding and road closures in the Upper Midwest, mainly along the Red River of the North and its tributaries.

Parts of eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota that were covered in snow received 2 to 4 inches of rain last Friday through Sunday, with the bulk of the rain hitting on Saturday. Waterways swelled quickly due to the intense rain and rapid snowmelt.

According to the National Weather Service, the Grand Forks International Airport in North Dakota had a three-day total of 2.46 inches, with 1.72 inches on Saturday. The Grand Forks NWS office was drenched with a three-day total of 3.38 inches, 70% of it on Saturday.

North Dakota and Minnesota transportation officials have reported state and U.S. highway closures in many places and additional closures will be possible over the next couple of days. The NWS is predicting rivers to keep rising. Warming temperatures and additional snowmelt will contribute to the issue.

Flood warnings remain posted along the Interstate 29 corridor from Fargo, North Dakota, to the U.S.-Canada border. This includes part of Interstate 94 where it intersects I-29 in Fargo.

More wet weather is likely later in the week from Friday into Saturday. Even if water levels recede before the next storm arrives, flooding could return along the Red River of the North and may hit other portions of the Upper Midwest and northern Plains.

Major lanes of concern

  • Interstate 29 from Fargo to the North Dakota-Canada border.
  • Interstate 94 from Valley City, North Dakota, to Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.