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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published August 29 2012

Weather Talk: Red River level near 14 feet, but flow rate above average

The Red River at the Fargo water plant gauge has been hovering near 14 feet all week, the lowest level in eight years. The last time the river was significantly lower was back in the drought of 1988, when the river level got as low as 13 feet.

However, there is a difference. While the height of the river is fairly low, the speed of water in the river remains well above the long-term average for the season. This week, the water has been flowing past the gauge at about 265 cubic feet per second (cfs). Back in 1988, the flow slowed down to a bare trickle at 34 cfs.

During the drought of the 1930s, there were times when the river turned to shallow, muddy pools and the flow rate was zero. On March 28, 2009, at the peak of the record flood, the height of the river was 40.84 feet, with a flow rate of 29,100 cfs.


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