Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Flooding not so bad, after all?

Forecast again downgraded for N. Dakota

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The U.S. National Weather Service has once again downgraded the flood forecast for Fargo, N.D., predicting the Red River will crest around 2006 levels.

The U.S. weather office's advanced hydrologic prediction service predicted Sunday the Red River will crest at about 37 feet on April 30.

That's down a foot from the prediction issued Friday. Earlier in the flood season, Fargo prepared for the possibility of a crest above the Red River's highest recorded level in the North Dakota city -- 40.82 feet, set in 2009.

A 37-foot crest would be equal to the 2006 Red River flood, the sixth-highest on record for Fargo. If the prediction is accurate, flood-fighters in Fargo should have no trouble protecting the city in the coming days.

The U.S. National Weather Service also predicted the Red River will crest in Grand Forks on or around May 4, likely at a level of 46 feet.

That would be equal to the 2010 Red River flood, the eighth-highest on record for Grand Forks.

The service did not yet have a crest-date prediction for Pembina, N.D., which sits across the Canada-U.S. border from Emerson.

Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship's latest prediction has the Red River cresting at Emerson at a height similar to 2010 levels, if sunny and dry weather continues.

The worst-case scenario for the Red River in Manitoba -- heavy rains over the next three weeks -- would still bring crests below the level of the 2009 flood, Manitoba flood forecasters said in the Saturday bulletin.

On Sunday, smaller tributaries of the Red River in Manitoba were beginning to drop, while larger tributaries, such as La Salle River and Roseau River, continued to rise, the province said in a flood bulletin.

As of Sunday afternoon, the Red River in Winnipeg had risen to 12 feet at the James Avenue monitoring station, submerging the river walk at The Forks.

The Red River Floodway is not yet operating, but likely will begin to divert water around the city in the coming days.

The Red is expected to crest in Winnipeg between 17.8 and 20.5 feet James later in May.

If the crest winds up at the lower end of that range, the city may not proceed with plans to advise the owners of 26 low-lying properties to build sandbag dikes.

Elsewhere in the province, volunteer firefighters saved a 12-year-old girl who had been clinging to a tree in fast-moving flood water near Ste. Rose du Lac on Saturday night.

RCMP said the girl and her father were in a vehicle and were trying to cross a "low-level crossing" that was under water. The vehicle got stuck.

The girl got into the water and was immediately swept downstream. When emergency crews arrived, they found the man on the roof of his vehicle and his daughter in the water holding onto a tree.

The firefighters waded into the water, which was up to their necks, and rescued the girl and then got the man as well.

Two firefighters, the girl and her father were taken to the Ste Rose Hospital for treatment of various stages of hypothermia.

RCMP are reminding everyone to use caution around spring waters. Streams and rivers are fast moving with cold temperatures and are dangerous.

Ste. Rose du Lac is approximately 50 km southeast of Dauphin.

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 29, 2013 A4

History

Updated on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 6:44 AM CDT: replaces photo

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