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Red River likely to crest Friday or Saturday in Grand Forks

Crews work to erect closures to the floodwall on the Minnesota side of the Sorlie Bridge in downtown East Grand Forks, Minn., Monday, April 8, 2019. Eric Hylden / Forum News Service1 / 3
A view of the Red River at the Sorlie Bridge on Sunday night, April 7, 2019, in downtown Grand Forks. Emily Lorenz / Special to Forum News Service2 / 3
Flood-watchers check out the rising Red River near downtown Grand Forks Monday, April 8, 2019. Eric Hylden / Forum News Service3 / 3

GRAND FORKS - As the Red River continues to rise, the cities of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks have started to button down in advance of a weekend crest.

The National Weather Service predicts the Red River at East Grand Forks will crest at 48 feet Friday or Saturday, said meteorologist Ryan Knutsvig. The river was at 40.52 feet -- just above moderate flood stage -- as of 2:45 p.m. Monday.

Local officials are closely monitoring river information from the National Weather Service, said John Bernstrom, communications specialist for the city of Grand Forks.

Although the Sorlie Bridge has a slightly higher closing elevation mark than the Point Bridge, Bernstrom said the Sorlie closed first Monday, April 8, because its floodwall closures must be put in on the wet side of the dike. The city did not want to install the closures in standing water, Bernstrom said.

Flooding last closed the Sorlie in 2011, he said.

The city warned Monday that the Sorlie closure will increase traffic on Gateway Drive and will cause some changes for motorists.

The city hopes to keep the Point Bridge open for as long as possible. The Kennedy Bridge should remain open; it does not close until the river reaches 52 feet.

The Grand Forks Country Club used sandbags Sunday and Monday to protect the clubhouse area. The last time sandbags were used at the Country Club was in 2011.

In East Grand Forks, River Road Northwest from 12th Street Northwest to the ramp on U.S. Highway 2 closed Monday afternoon. It is unknown when the road will reopen to traffic, the East Grand Forks Police Department said in a release.

Other areas

  • The Red River at Oslo, Minn., sits at 35.23 feet as of Monday afternoon. Major flood stage occurs at 36 feet. The river is expected to crest at 37.5 feet Saturday. Roads north of Oslo have been closed due to floodwaters.

  • State Highway 220 between Marshall County Road 4 and County Road 5, as well as state Highway 317 between Highway 220 and the North Dakota border, were closed Monday afternoon.

  • As of 1 p.m. Monday, Minnesota Highway 92 is open but there is water over the road near Milepost 71 north of Zerkel, Minn.

  • Water has receded on state Highway 9 north of Ada, Minn., and south of Crookston

  • The Red River sits at 34.53 feet as of Monday afternoon in Pembina, N.D. Flood stage is 39 feet for the northern North Dakota city.

  • The weather service is predicting the Red Lake River at Crookston will crest near 26 feet in the early hours of Wednesday.

  • The Two Rivers River at Hallock, Minn., is expected to crest at 808.5 feet above sea level Wednesday evening or Thursday morning.

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