University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

UND activates Flood.UND.edu site

UND activates Flood.UND.edu site

The University of North Dakota has activated the UND Flood website (flood.UND.edu) to help inform students, faculty and staff about flooding in the Red River Valley.  In addition to flood-related messages, the site includes information links, such as (but not limited to) the flood pages for the cities of East Grand Forks and Grand Forks, road reports for Minnesota and North Dakota, and current river levels (24.44 feet at Grand Forks as of 6:45 a.m. Thursday, April 25).  The site also provides emergency telephone numbers and links to resources such as (but not limited to) Altru Health Care, FEMA, and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)/NWS (National Weather Service) North Central River Forecast Center.

At this point, it doesn’t look like there is any reason that normal UND operations including classes, end of the semester projects, finals or scheduled University events --  would be affected by the river levels.  According to a Minnesota Public Radio report published Tuesday night on the Grand Forks Herald web site, “the flood outlook in the Red River is improving.  On Tuesday, the National Weather Service lowered the forecast crest of the Red River in Wahpeton, N.D. and Breckenridge, Minn.”  An Associated Press story reports:  “Fargo officials plan to scale back flood protection efforts after a lower Red River crest prediction by the National Weather Service.  The weather service on Wednesday updated its forecast to show the range of the river peak to be between 38 and 40 feet, down a couple of feet from earlier predictions. Forecasters say the revision is due mostly to an ideal melt cycle and expectations for below-normal precipitation.  Fargo officials say there's still work to be done to protect properties, but the lower crest prediction should lower the number of sandbags needed from 1.8 million to about 400,000.”

In the Grand Forks, N.D./East Grand Forks, Minn., area, city and county officials are paying close attention to flood predictions and are taking precautions.  The south end pedestrian bridge was closed April 22 and the north end pedestrian bridge was closed April 23.

East Grand Forks Flood Preparations

On April 23, the City of East Grand Forks posted this news release:

“On Thursday, April 25, East Grand Forks city crews will begin construction of the ‘Invisible Wall’ along the East Grand Forks boardwalk on Thursday morning, barring unforeseen conditions. During the construction period, access to River Street will be closed. Construction is expected to take 2-3 business days. City crews will get an early start on flood wall construction this year. This will allow ample time for crews to complete flood preparations during normal business hours. The City will then devote additional attention to road closures so that the City can keep traffic routes open as long as possible. The Sorlie Bridge and DeMers Avenue will remain open during this phase of flood wall construction. You can receive continuous updates regarding flood information from the East Grand Forks City's flood page at flood.egf.mn. Information is also available via Facebook (www.facebook.com/egfflood) and Twitter (@egfflood), or the Flood Hotline at 218-399-3456. To receive e-mail and mobile notifications you can sign up by clicking on the Notify Me Link under E-services on the city home page at www.egf.mn.”

How to Volunteer for Flood-fighting Duty

As the flood season progresses, many students, faculty, staff and UND organizations indicate their desire and willingness to volunteer for flood fighting duties.  Please be aware that all flood fighting activities will be managed by the Grand Forks County Emergency Operations Center.  If you want to help during the spring flood fight, you are encouraged to register at RSVPNortheastND.  Officials will only dispatch registered volunteers.  Once there is a need, registered volunteers will be contacted through their chosen method (text, email, or telephone) about where to gather.

Flood Level Triggers

As flood levels continue to rise in the Grand Forks/East Grand Forks area, there may be some closure of bridges.  Below is a list of the flood levels and significant events:

Minor Flood Stage - 28.0 ft.
Moderate Flood Stage - 40.0 ft.
Point Bridge closed - 44.9 ft.
Sorlie Bridge closed - 45.0 ft.
Major Flood Stage - 46.0 ft.
Murray Bridge in East Grand Forks – 48.0 ft.

Kennedy Bridge closed - 52.6 ft.