Published January 27 2011
Latest flood outlook bumps up Devils Lake level by half a footThe latest spring flood outlook released today by the National Weather Service predicts Devils Lake will rise to levels roughly half a foot higher than was predicted in the last outlook on Dec. 23.
For the Red River and its tributaries, today’s outlook contains only subtle changes from the outlook released on Jan. 18. For example, there’s now a 50 percent chance the Red River at Fargo will exceed 37.3 feet, compared with a 50 percent chance of 37.4 feet in last week’s outlook.
Today’s outlook indicates an 80 percent chance Devils Lake will rise above 1,454.5 feet, or about 2½ feet higher than the previous record of 1,452.05 feet set on June 27, the weather service said.
The lake’s natural spillover into Tolna Coulee is at 1,458 feet, and there remains about a 1 percent chance the lake will rise to within a foot of that mark.
On Monday, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple issued an emergency waiver that allows the State Water Commission to immediately move forward with design and construction of a water control structure at Tolna Coulee.
Today’s outlook also indicates the Red River at Fargo has a 20 percent chance of exceeding 40.7 feet, which would be just shy of the record of 40.84 feet set in 2009. There’s a 10 percent chance the river will exceed 42.6 feet – up 0.6 feet from last week’s outlook.
Fargo officials this week said they plan to take temporary measures to raise the city’s flood defenses to 44 feet, allowing for 2 feet of freeboard at a river level of 42 feet.