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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published May 02 2013

Weather Talk: Flow was 16,800 cubic feet per second at time of crest

The United States Geological Survey will make its final determination of the actual river crest in a week or two. But provisional data indicate the Red crested at Fargo at 4:15 a.m. Wednesday, May 1, at a level of 33.32 feet.

The flow of water in the river at that time was about 16,800 cubic feet per second. In one hour, that amounts to more than 60 million cubic feet of water. Converting cubic feet to gallons, about 126,000 gallons of water were flowing past every second and 454 million gallons per hour. Or, if you prefer, a bit more than a billion gallons per day.

That is a lot of water, but nothing compared to the flood in 2009. At its peak of 40.84 feet, the discharge was 29,500 cubic feet per second. In gallons, the 2009 peak flow was 221,000 gallons per second, 796 million gallons per hour, or about 1.9 billion gallons per day.

For comparison, the city of Fargo uses an average of

11 million gallons of water per day.

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