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News Release


April 20, 2011
Marisa Lubeck 303-202-4765 mlubeck@usgs.gov

New Record Streamflows for Souris River Basin

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Many points in the Souris River Basin of North Dakota and Canada reached all-time record streamflows during the past week, according to real-time U.S. Geological Survey international streamgage data.  

During the last few days, steamflow at many USGS gaging stations in the Souris River Basin of North Dakota near Canada reached their highest levels in about 40 years since the floods of 1969, 1976, and 1979. Today, flow at the Souris River at Westhope, N.D., is 15,000 cubic feet per second, which is a new maximum streamflow for this gage and 2,400 cubic feet per second greater than the previous maximum flow recorded during the 1976 flood. Water level at the gage was 20.06 feet this morning and continues to rise slowly.

Also, a new maximum streamflow of 6,790 cubic feet per second was set at the Long Creek at Noonan, N.D. gage on April 12.

“Since early April, four USGS hydrographers have been servicing international 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, the design of levees, and decision making.”

The Westhope and Noonan gages are international gaging stations operated by the USGS in cooperation with the International Joint Commission. The Noonan gage has been in operation since 1959, and the Westhope gage has been in operation since 1930.  

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 the Souris River Basin in the U.S. and Canada, 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 Souris River Basin for the next several days. News media interested in accompanying a USGS crew may contact Marisa Lubeck at 303-202-4765 or mlubeck@usgs.gov. 


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