Flooding has kept sections of state and U.S. highways closed for three weeks in the Upper Midwest, showing no signs of letting up the next few days.
Where it started
From April 22 to 24, parts of eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota were drenched with 2 to 4 inches of rain, as well as rapid snow melt. Several more rounds of rain followed, including another inch Monday.
Places like Grand Forks and Fargo already have month-to-date rain surpluses for May, with totals so far of 1.71 and 2.27, respectively, through Wednesday.
Where we are
Several locations along the Red River of the North and its tributaries have been at major flood stage since late April. Water levels have lowered in some spots, but the National Weather Service is forecasting many areas to stay at major flood stage the rest of this week before possibly receding next week.
- Interstate 29, exit 164 southbound on-ramp (about 20 miles north of Grand Forks).
- North Dakota state Highway 18 at the port of entry into Canada.
Where we’re going
Thunderstorms with heavy rain hit parts of the Red River valley Thursday morning. Additional rain, in addition to possible torrential downpours, could return at times Thursday. Severe storms are likely to produce scattered gusty winds and large hail, along with potential tornadoes. Drivers should expect ongoing detours around flooded areas.
Major lanes of concern
- Interstate 29 from the North Dakota-South Dakota border to the North Dakota-Canada border.
- Interstate 94 from Jamestown, North Dakota, to Fergus Falls, Minnesota.
- U.S. Highway 2 from Rugby, North Dakota, to Duluth, Minnesota.
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