Reporters: Do you want to interview USGS scientists as they measure flooding in and near Fargo, North Dakota? Please contact Dave Ozman, Marisa Lubeck or Chris Laveau.
USGS Crews Measure Record Flooding in Fargo
The Red River of the North in Fargo, North Dakota, exceeded National Weather Service major flood levels, or stage, as of this morning. U.S. Geological Survey field crews will be monitoring water levels and measuring flow on the Red River in Fargo throughout the weekend.
The pace of snowmelt will likely accelerate through this weekend as warmer air moves into the region. The Red River of the North at Fargo is forecasted to crest on or around Sunday, April 7, at about 35 feet.
Flood levels at this USGS streamgage exceeded 35 feet only seven times since the gage started monitoring in 1902. Those major flood years were 1969, 1989, 1997, 2001, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The highest-ever water level recorded for this location was 40.84 feet during the 2009 flood.
Water levels in Fargo are expected to recede slowly after the crest passes.
USGS crews are currently measuring flows and verifying streamgage operations on all streams in the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area. The USGS recently installed a webcam on the Red River in Fargo near Midtown Dam and near-real-time imagery is available.
As the snow continues to melt and temperatures rise, crews will move north from Fargo. River levels at or above NWS major flood stage are expected at most USGS streamgages on the Red River of the North this year.
Information collected by the USGS during flooding is critical for resource managers and emergency responders to help protect life and property. The USGS coordinates efforts with the National Weather Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and many local and state partners.
There are about 280 USGS operated streamgages in North and South Dakota that measure water levels, streamflow and rainfall. When flooding occurs, USGS crews make numerous discharge measurements to verify the data USGS provides to federal, tribal, state and local agencies, as well as to the public.
For more than 125 years, the USGS has monitored flow in selected streams and rivers across the United States. 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.
Access current flood and high flow conditions across the country by visiting the USGS WaterWatch website. Receive instant, customized updates about water conditions in your area via text message or email by signing up for USGS WaterAlert. See where floodwaters go by following a stream trace at Streamer. View water data on your mobile device. Learn how a USGS streamgage works.