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News Release

April 15, 2011
Marisa Lubeck 303-202-4765

Highest Souris River Streamflow in 40 Years

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The Souris River above Minot reached its highest flow rate in about 40 years on Thursday, according to real-time U.S. Geological Survey streamgage data. 

The flow at the USGS Souris River above Minot streamgage reached 4,900 cubic feet per second on Thursday, which is its largest flow rate since the flood of 1979 and its fifth highest flow since 1912. During the last few days, steamflow at most gaging stations in the Souris River Basin are the largest recorded in about 40 years since the floods of 1969, 1976, and 1979.

“Since early April, four USGS hydrographers have been servicing the 17 streamgages in the Souris River Basin and measuring streamflow and water levels at all stations,” said Gregg Wiche, director of the USGS North Dakota Water Science Center. “The USGS data are used by various National, State, and local agencies for flood forecasts, the operation of dams and levees, and decision making.”

The USGS collects data from more than 100 streamgages in North Dakota, most of which provide real-time data that is transmitted every hour. For the latest and most accurate streamflow data for North Dakota, visit the real-time streamflow web page

Links to graphics that allow for comparison of the current river stage to historical peaks and to the National Weather Service flood stage are available on the USGS WaterWatch web page for North Dakota or through links on the USGS North Dakota Water Science Center flood web page.

For more than 125 years, the USGS has monitored flow in selected streams and rivers across the U.S. The information is routinely used for water supply and management, monitoring floods and droughts, bridge and road design, determination of flood risk, and for many recreational activities.

Note to media representatives: USGS crews will be measuring streamflow in the Minot area for the next several days. News media interested in accompanying a USGS crew may contact Marisa Lubeck at 303-202-4765 or USGS provides science for a changing world. Visit, follow us on Twitter @USGS, and our other social media channels.

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