Flood potential declining in northwest and central North Dakota

James River greatest concern

As is the Flood Potential Outlook for the Souris River Basin, there’s only minimal possibilities of flooding this spring throughout most of North Dakota. The National Weather Service issued its latest Flood Potential Outlook for tributaries of the Missouri and the James River basin on Thursday.

In the northwest part of the state, where the Little Muddy River is prone to flowing out of its banks in the spring, nothing of the sort is expected this year. While the Little Muddy is given a 41% chance of reaching minor flood stage the chance of that river reaching major flood stage is less than 5%.

The outlook covers several drainages in the central and south-central portions of the state. According to the outlook, “forecast points on the Knife River and Spring Creek have near normal risks of reaching at least minor flood state” and that the “Heart and Cannonball Rivers along with Painted Woods, Hay, Burnt, Apple, Cedar, and Beaver Creeks are now considered at near normal risk for minor flooding.”

Also for the James River, says the outlook, “flood risk in the very upper part of the basin near Harvey is probably the lowest and near normal. However, the risk of at least minor flooding increases quickly as one gets closer to Pingree and Grace City.”

Jamestown and Pipestem Dams have been discharging above normal amounts of water this winter to help alleviate any potential flooding this spring. That area of the state has an abundance of soil moisture remaining from last fall. The Flood Potential Outlook states, “snowpack sits atop a crust of fairly wet and frozen soil. this creates a nearly impermeable surface and will enhance runoff from a given snowpack.”


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