1997 Flood Timeline

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April 1997

4th - Blizzard "Hannah", the regions 8th blizzard that winter dropped and additional 6 inches of snow.  "Hannah" also brought freezing rain that leaves over 300,000 Red River Valley residents without power.

4th - The Red River officially reaches flood stage at 28 feet.

8th - ND Governor Ed Schafer activates the National Guard to help with the flood fight and blizzard recovery.

14th - The Red River rises to 44.43 feet.

15th - The Point Bridge closes between Grand Forks and East Grand Forks

17th - The Red River rises to 50.96 feet.

18th - Grand Forks orders evacuation of Lincoln Park Neighborhood.

18th - Evacuation of the Riverside and Central Park Neighborhoods.

18th - The Red River raises 18 inches in 18 hours to hit 52.62 feet.

18th - The Kennedy Bridge is closed cutting off Grand Forks from East Grand Forks

19th - Water if 4 feet deep in downtown Grand Forks

19th - The Grand Forks Water Treatment Plant fails

19th - Grand Forks orders evacuations of all areas east of Columbia Road.

19th - A fire is reported in the Security Building in downtown Grand Forks.  The fire eventually damages or destroys 11 buildings throughout 3 city blocks.

22nd - The Red River crests at 54.35 feet.

23rd - The Red River begins to recede.

May 1997

8th - Altru Hospital reopens

12th - Altru Clinic reopens

19th - The Red River falls below flood stage (28 feet)

August 1997

City's Public Schools resume classes using rented facilities that include 2 churches, 100 relocatable buildings, the National Guard Armory and portion of 2 high schools.

1997 - 1998

About 850 properties are purchased by the city through a voluntary buyout program designed to remove structures from high-risk flood areas.

August 1998

The Grand Forks Herald newspaper opens a new $4.3 million building on the site of its former office devastated by both flood and fire.

January 1999

A new elementary school, named Phoenix to mark the city's rebirth, is built to replace two longtime elementary schools (Belmont & Lincoln).

October 1999

A $16 million commercial office complex built by the city opens in the heart of downtown.  Known as the Corporate Center, this two building complex replaces virtually all the commercial office space lost in the fire.  The buildings provide about 100,000 square feet of office space.

January 2000

A new $20 million county office building opens.  The building improves citizen access to government agencies by co-locating them under one roof.

June 2000

Town Square, an outdoor gathering place in downtown Grand Forks, opens for public use.

June 2000

Officials break ground for a $409 million flood protection project for Grand Forks and East Grand Forks.

February 2001

The $80 million Alerus Center opens.

October 2001

The $104+ million dollar Ralph Engelstad Arena opens.

Summer 2002

King's Walk Golf Course, a $6.8 million Arnold Palmer Signature championship course, opens to the public.

June 2004

Lincoln Dr. Park is completed and dedicated.  The park occupies the site where Lincoln Elementary School stood prior to the flood.

January 2007

The flood protection project is functionally complete.