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Cali Owings, Published June 26 2013

Recent rains lead to rising Red River

FARGO – Thunderstorms here late last week pushed the Red River to minor flood levels.

As of 8 this morning, the river level was 25.08 feet in Fargo-Moorhead. Moderate flood stage is 25 feet.

The National Weather Service expects the Red to crest 31.8 feet by Thursday morning. Major flood stage is 30 feet.

Anticipated storms Tuesday night and tonight may keep it higher a little longer, said Bill Barrett, a meteorologist technician with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks. Without too much additional precipitation, the river is expected to start receding early next week.

The bike and pedestrian bridge connecting Oak Grove Park in north Fargo and Moorhead’s Memorial Park is already under water following last week’s storms.

The older bridge is usually lifted out of the water for spring floods, but Fargo Parks Director Dave Leker said there isn’t enough time to remove the bridge in response to quick water rises.

The bridge will remain submerged until the water recedes. Leker said he’s not worried about damage to the bridge, although minor repairs may be needed.

Barrett predicted periodic minor flooding throughout the area this summer because of the late spring melt. River levels are typically much lower by the time summer thunderstorms hit.

“We could see cycles of this minor flooding because the river can never get low enough,” Barrett said, adding that it was “only a guess.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Cali Owings at (701) 241-5599