March 28th, 2009


North Dakota Flooding

Time to put on my hydrology hat. I love extremes in nature. They really let us know that us puny humans can be up against some pretty impressive forces that we like to think we have some control over. I decided to check out the USGS website which measures river flow. I was impressed with the numbers I was seeing. Normally the Red River would be flowing at 646 cubic feet per second. This morning it was almost 2 orders of magnitude higher at 29,100 cfs. That's a lot of water for that sized river. Further downstream, like 80 or so miles, the flows were even higher, like DOUBLE! At that gaging station in Grand Forks there is a webcam at the site. Here's a pic from a week ago:

Here's what it looked like today:

My heart goes out to the folks out there sandbagging in horrible conditions. Please take the time to also learn about floodplains and why it's such a BAD idea to build in them. Weren't we here just 10 years ago?