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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published January 20 2012

Weather Talk: Severe flooding doesn’t just occur in the spring

The almost complete lack of snow this winter certainly has reduced the stress levels regarding spring flooding. After three spring floods in the valley plus last summer’s Minot flood, our region is flood-weary and very much in need of this break.

But this is also a good opportunity to talk about one common flood misconception: that the Red River’s most severe floods always happen in the spring. There was a dramatic flood fight in the Red/Wild Rice/Sheyenne River area in late June and early July 1975. A month of heavy June rains primed the region, and then the last couple of days in June brought an excessive rainfall of more than 12 inches upstream.

The Red in Fargo surged to 33.26 feet on July 4. Had that sequence of events happened within the context of the past few extremely wet years, the results would have been much worse. The fact that Minot experienced a record flood during summer is proof that a record summer flood is a distinct possibility in the Red River Basin.

Have a weather question you’d like answered? Email weather@wday.com,

or write to WDAY Stormtracker, WDAY-TV, Box 2466, Fargo, ND 58108

Read the blog at http://stormtrack.areavoices.com