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Associated Press, Published January 28 2011

North Dakota's western two-thirds at risk of flooding

BISMARCK – The National Weather Service says there is a good chance of widespread spring flooding in the Missouri, James and Souris river basins in North Dakota.

The agency released flood outlooks on Thursday that say the snowpack contains a lot of moisture. Forecasters say the snow’s water content in the Souris River Basin is one of the highest on record.

The outlooks look at rivers, streams and creeks but not overland flooding.

However, the weather service says all areas of west and central North Dakota with significant snow cover should be considered at an enhanced risk for overland flooding unless there is “exceptionally” slow snowmelt in the spring.

The weather service says a possible mitigating factor is shallow frost depth throughout the state.

That means more snowmelt might soak into the ground.