Flood Walls

2019 Flood Fight

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2019 Flood Fight - Frequently Asked Questions

Expand/Contract Questions and Answers

  • Does the City of Grand Forks have flood protection?

  • Is the Kennedy Bridge open?

  • Is the Point Bridge open?

  • Is the Sorlie Bridge downtown open?

  • What is the current river level in Grand Forks?

  • What roads are closed in GF County due to flooding?

  • Where can I get sandbags?

  • Who will clean my rural road of packed snow?

2019 Flood Fight - News Releases

Spring Flooding Situation Update - Report #2 3/24/19- 3/29/19

Post Date:03/31/2019



Subject:  2019-GF-008: Spring Flooding Situation Report #2

Reporting Period:  03/24/2019 – 03/29/2019

Emergency Management

Agency Summary

  • Governor Burgum declared a statewide flood emergency on 27 MAR 2019
  • Attended city and county standing flood fight meetings
  • Attended briefing with NDDES and the TAG to discuss local resource concerns and planning
  • Attended Shadyridge neighborhood briefing with city/county staff at FD Station #5
  • Led weekly conference call with County rural responders
  • Did interview with Valley News Live regarding not driving through flooded roads
  • Met with Xcel Energy representatives to discuss their response to power outages during flooding
  • Coordinated Technical Assistance Request for USACOE with state DES
  • Met with city staff about moving the joint EOC and EM Offices to the Public Works building
  • Responded to citizen inquiries concerning acquiring sand
  • Monthly meeting of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Grand Forks Highway Dept

Agency Summary

  • Completed excavation of ditches and legal drains to allow water flow
  • Continued to track dispersal of sandbags to citizens
    • This week
    • GF – 16,000
    • Manvel – 0
    • Emerado – 0
    • Gilby – 0
    • Inkster – 0
    • Northwood – 0
    • Larimore – 0
    • Totals = GF 16,000, 0 in all other sheds.
  • Completed preparation of road closure signage and barricades
  • Began fabricating more road closure signs and barricades for sale to townships
  • Water has begun to overtop some township roads. This is short-lived and closures are minimal


Through March 29, 2019

8th Ave NE

between 37th St NE to 39th St NE

Water over Road

water over road in 3 locations in two miles, Grace Twp

22nd St NE

2000 block

Water over Road

water over about mid block, Blooming Twp

23rd St NE

between 18th Ave NE to 20th Ave NE

Water over Road

water over in two spots, Blooming Twp

20th Ave NE

between 25th St NE to 22nd St NE

Water over Road

water over in two spots, Blooming Twp

15th St NE

800 block

Water over Road

Allendale Twp

14th St NE

700 block

Water over Road

Allendale Twp

3rd Ave NE

at 12th St NE

Short term water over road


12th St NE

at 4th Ave NE

Water over Road

Americus Twp

36th Ave NE

3200 block (forest river crossing)

Water over Road

low water crossing closed (its designed to do this)

19th St NE

between 5th Ave NE and 7th Ave NE

Water over Road

Allendale Twp


City of Grand Forks Public Works

Agency Summary

  • Sandbags prepared for City Public Works Operations/Contingency Supply – City’s Public Works Facility
  • Flood Wall Closure Preparations – Street Division
  • Telehandler rental unit reservation confirmed
  • Flood Wall Closure Items, Procedure Review, Cross-Training of Staff ongoing
  • Stormwater flowing – assistance with Storm Drains by Street Division successful
  • Rail Removal Coordiantion with EGF Public Works – Confirmed date for future removal


City of Grand Forks Water Division

Agency Summary


Stormwater/Flood Protection  

  • Began inserting pumis in flood station wet wells
  • Monitoring Coulee Diversion sluice gates ice
  • Ran and tested flood stations 204 and 207 to ensure new controls were operating properly
  • Tested 204 with generator power
  • Working on Gate on 17th Ave S., needed for startup of 201
  • Finalized plan for plugging 30” storm sewer in Shadyridge area and begin pumping at approx.. 51’
  • Continue to clear frozen catch basins and respond to customer complaints/concerns


  • Monitoring river levels for possible plaque and bench removal.


  • Dig out valves and ensured they were operational up to 50’ gage level
  • Determined that EGF WW Interconnect isn’t impacted until 57’ (per Flood Fight Plan)
  • Monitored rural area to eliminate infiltration and placed sandbags where needed
  • Filled 300-400 sandbags for internal use and assisted with sandbag prep at PW on March 28th
  • Took out controls at the Riverside Park pool station
  • Monitoring stations for volume and any overland flooding and infiltration




    Public Information

       Agency Summary


    • Sent 93 postcards announcing the information meeting for Shadyridge residents. Over 50 people attended the meeting
    • Attended city and county flood fight meetings
    • Updates continue to be made to the flood fight website at  www.grandforksgov.com/flood Website has over 5700 views



      City of Grand Forks Police Dept

         Agency Summary


      • Attended flood meeting with NDDES and TAG to discuss local flood preparations and concerns
      • Facilitated a city/county emergency services meeting to include Sheriff Schneider
      • Finalized Shady Ridge Emergency response protocols with Grand Forks Fire
      • Attended Shady Ridge Community Meeting at FD #5
      • Finalized UAS Operational Plan with UND and Northern Plains Test Site
      • Verified operational status an capabilities of Police Department’s UTV and ATVs
      • Finalized Police Department Flood Operations plan to include trigger points for major muscle movements requiring execution
      • Attended weekly flood fight meeting

Grand Forks Fire Dept

Agency Summary

  • Met with command staff to identify current planning priorities including equipment status.
  • Finalized plans for staging a fire engine and accessory vehicle (pickup) in the Shadyridge area before it is cut off due to rising water
  • Identified locations for accessing the river corridor with boats during different water elevations
  • Verified functional operational status of watercraft
  • Identified vendors to access waders if needed
  • Provided Fire Department personnel for safety monitoring during sandbag filling operations at PW
  • Met with Chief Nelson, UND Aerospace, and Northern Plains to discuss UAS Operational Plan. Will finalize plan in upcoming week based on updated flood predictions
  • Met with PD Command Staff to discuss emergency operations during the flood event
  • Met with PD and Sheriff’s Office to discuss emergency operations in the Shadyridge area
  • Attended Shadyridge Informational Briefing on March 25th
  • Held a Command Staff meeting with the EGF Fire Department

Grand Forks PSAP/911 Center

Agency Summary

  • Attended city and county flood preparation meetings
  • Worked with Sheriff’s Office to create flood zone notification areas for ease of notification if needed
  • Worked with Public Info Office to train on Code Red and website availability for resident registration
  • Reviewed internal policies and updated a nature code to include Flooding for ease of documentation and improved communication distribution to all responders



Altru Health Systems

Agency Summary

  • Flood Task Force Meeting was held on March 27th – regional reports indicated not much flowing yet
  • Generated a Disaster cost center
  • Proactively worked on private, non-profit reimbursement forms
  • In coordination with EMS, addressed leadership with expectations, current internal and external planning efforts and action items to prepare staff for significant overland flooding. Encouraged all departments to review their COOP plans
  • Altru Ambulance established their action plan with trigger points and communicated to leadership


    UND Emergency Management

       Agency Summary


  • Creation of flood outlook communication room in Veoci (virtual incident management tool) to share NWS and city & county flood information with UND Executive Team.
  • UND Department of Public Safety and UND Facilites management team met to review flood plan
  • UND Flood Blog established to provide links and resource information to staff, faculty, students and their families with links to GF City & County agency information. UND SafeCampus app updated with flood resource information
  • Secured storage space for Red Cross to store extra supplies
  • UND Facilities contracted with local vendor to secure clay to construct dike of need in the low coulee area
  • Continued to monitor water levels in the Coulee


    American Red Cross

       Agency Summary


  • Coordinated with UND to secure storage for pre-staged flood response supplies
  • Held a flood planning meeting with Red Cross volunteers to discuss multiple responses throughout the region
  • Attended city flood planning meeting




    GFAFB Emergency Management

       Agency Summary


  • Developing Incident Support Base and Base Support Installation Plans for possible support to civilian authorities
  • Preparation for possible FEMA tasking as a Federal Staging Area or Air Operations/S&R
  • GFAFB personnel updated their home address information to identify potential flooding issues and high risk areas using online FEMA Flood Mapping tool

Planning Section




Area Forecast Discussion

National Weather Service Grand Forks ND

658 AM CDT Sun Mar 31 2019


A change in the overall pattern is expected mid to late next week as

a strong system in the northern Pacific nears northwestern US. This

will cause the Hudson Bay low steering northwest flow aloft over the

Northern Plains to break down. A more zonal and progressive pattern

is expected to develop come next weekend into early next week. This

will allow for warmer temperatures to develop over the region along

with the chance of passing systems to bring precipitation.

Confidence is quite low on specifics regarding precipitation chances

beyond Thursday, although most guidance ejects a shortwave or series

of shortwaves into the Plains starting around the Thursday-Saturday

timeframe. Guidance is however in more agreement on a warming trend

with temperatures largely staying above freezing throughout the day

and night. These two factors, precipitation potential and warming

temperatures, may have implications on snowmelt and subsequent river

flooding potential heading into late next week and early the

following week.


Hydrologic Outlook

National Weather Service Grand Forks ND

117 PM CDT Thu Mar 28 2019





A slow and gentle melt continues across the Red River basin due to

favorable temperatures and dry weather conditions.


Overall flood risk update...


Near perfect thaw/melt conditions thus far this spring have

potentially allowed for a reduced flood threat. If conditions in the

next several weeks continue to follow this pattern (slow melting

during the day with some refreezing at night and dry weather

conditions), most locations can expect to see river levels peak

from snowmelt in the 75% to 95% range of the probabilistic

guidance issued March 15th.


However, peak river levels will still be contingent upon future

precipitation. If significant precipitation happens to occur

(especially concurrent with peak snowmelt rises), river levels

will be prone to reaching higher levels, likely above the 50%

stage levels of the March 15th guidance.


Current conditions...


Temperatures warmed into the mid to upper 40s across the far

southern Red River Valley and into west central Minnesota on

Wednesday. This warmup allowed for more rapid snowmelt and

associated runoff across this area, resulting in the

Wahpeton/Breckenridge area rising above flood stage and numerous

road closures due to overland flooding across portions of west

central Minnesota.


Across the remainder of the southern basin, river conditions remain

mostly ice covered with some ponding of water on streams and rivers

and in fields and ditches. Snow cover across this area is rapidly

decreasing while the top layer of the ground is slowly warming and

may now be capable of soaking up some of this moisture.


For the northern half of the basin where it hasn`t been as warm, the

snow cover is gradually decreasing but rivers remain largely ice



Future conditions...


A roller coaster of temperatures is expected to continue through the

end of this week and into the first half of next week. Temperatures

on Friday are expected to once again warm into the 40s for much of

the basin. These temperatures will continue to decrease any

remaining snowpack across the far southern basin. However, the Corps

of Engineers has temporarily reduced outflows from area reservoirs

to slow down/reduce rises at Wahpeton/Breckenridge and locations

further downstream.


Runoff will be slowed even further on Saturday as colder air pushes

into the region and temperatures top out only around the freezing

mark. The roller coaster will continue heading into next week as

Monday and Tuesday look to bring a brief warm up before once again

dipping back down by midweek.


Overall quiet weather conditions will persist into early next week.

A weak disturbance looks to bring minor precipitation chances to the

northern basin on Friday but amounts will be minimal. Thereafter,

dry conditions will prevail through the weekend heading into early

next week.


Lastly, computer models do depict a system potentially targeting the

Plains around midweek next week. However, it is much too far into

the future for any specific locations or precipitation amounts. Our

area has the potential to experience this system with a mix of

weather types (rain, snow, etc.). On the other hand, this system

may miss our area completely with little to no precipitation. Stay

tuned to future weather forecasts regarding this system and its

impact on this year`s flood potential.


Next outlook...


There will be no additional probabilistic outlooks issued this

spring as we are now experiencing more widespread melting and the

issuance of deterministic forecasts. However, an updated thaw

progress statement will be issued on Monday, April 1st regarding the

status of the snowmelt, forecast weather conditions and the impacts

on future flood potential.

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