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Published April 21 2013

Editorial: Flood agencies win roses

PRAIRIE ROSES: To the people at the National Weather Service and other flood-forecasting agencies. They confront a situation this year in the Red River Valley that is more complex than it has been in many years, if ever. The variables presented by the cold spring, wet snowfalls and ground conditions beneath the snowpack are making for extremely difficult river crest predictions. The usual pattern of warm weather and melting snow has been turned on its head. The longer the melt holds back, the more complicated the runoff and its effects on the Red River and its tributaries. So the forecasters, hydrologists and others who watch the watershed and its rivers get an especially large bouquet of roses this year. They are working very hard.

PRARIE ROSES: To the Moorhead City Council and city staff for moving closer to shortening traffic delays at railroad crossings. The problem in Moorhead has been especially aggravating for drivers, and it seems little of substance has been done about it. Now the council is working with a consulting firm to incorporate traffic control technologies with specific software to reduce wait times at the intersections. Part of the problem in Moorhead is that wait times seem unnecessarily long when it appears a train has cleared the intersection or is still far away from a crossing. The new program will be designed to shorten the wait time and speed traffic movement in other directions when trains are moving through town.

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