Apr 10, 2011

Swollen Red River finally crests!

I’m a hydrologist who believes in closing the loop.

By loop, of course, I mean “water cycle.”


A week ago I posted a hydrograph on the Red River which, in the days ahead, was ready to burst out of its banks (and over its levees) in the form of its third consecutive historic spring flood.

But it hadn’t yet peaked.


Finally today (as predicted by NOAA/USGS scientists) it did!

Thus, in the spirit of closing the loop – and here’s to hoping hope against hope that next year doesn’t bring a fourth in a row … although, with a good couple weeks of cleanup ahead, it’s still way too early to think about that – here’s the updated hydrograph (updated Sunday) with that highly coveted crest: The good news is that it’s all downhill from here. The hydrograph at Fargo shows that waters rose about smack dab in the middle of the last two springs: landing about 2 feet higher than the high-water mark of March 21, 2010 and 2 feet lower than the all-time high water mark of March 28, 2009.

The Red River finally crested ... now the clean up begins
But hold the press!

Meteorologist Daryl Ritchison reports that the stretch of road shown in the video, as filmed by local water enthusiast Chris Dorsey, marks an all-time high mark for that specific point. That has the ring of another hydrologic mystery to be solved, but first thing first … and for three years in a row:

Another clean up.

Click here to view aerial photos of the flood.

2 comments:

Tabor said...

Sign of the times, unfortunately...lots more in the decades ahead, I am afraid.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Your heart always go out for communities struck hard by natural forces beyond there control. After three years in a row it must get fatiguing.