My World Is A Flood: April 28

Sunday April 28 was an interesting day in flood world.   The Red River at Fargo was at 27.03 feet as of 7:15 p.m. Saturday, according to the Forum of Fargo Moorhead. The crest  is expected sometime “during the middle of the week,” and is now “officially” going to be between 37 and 39 feet.

Photo taken April 28, 2013, around 7 a.m.
Photo taken April 28, 2013, around 7 a.m.

Not sure if you can see the 8-foot marker on the fence post.  It is in the middle of the fence line in front of the distinguishable dead tree.

Photo taken April 28, 2013, around 7:30 p.m.
Photo taken April 28, 2013, around 7:30 p.m.

The next set of photos you can see the movement of the day.

Photo taken April 28, 2013, around 7 a.m.
Photo taken April 28, 2013, around 7 a.m.

The flood waters receded!  We crested!  Oh wait, 12-hours later, the water came back.   The  overland flooding in my neighbor’s field (in yesterday’s photos) is all but gone.  The drought stricken earth just soaked up that water overnight.    I imagine it will be back tomorrow as the water continues to rise and that giant sponge of a field saturates up.

Photo taken April 28, 2013, around 7:30 p.m.
Photo taken April 28, 2013, around 7:30 p.m.

This should be an interesting couple of days watching the water rise four-to-five feet a day submerging the duck house tree.

Photo taken April 28, 2013, around 7 a.m.
Photo taken April 28, 2013, around 7 a.m.

This year has been an interesting flood year.  And I use the word “interesting” in its literal sense.  There are many unknowns in this year’s flood, as evident by the communication and behavior relating to the dissemination of information.

Photo taken April 28, 2013, around 7:30 p.m.
Photo taken April 28, 2013, around 7:30 p.m.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the public officials and leaders seem to be more confused this year than in the past, including 2009.  The Forum even alluded to that in today’s (Sunday’s) edition – “Uncertainty over future precipitation and the rate of snowmelt infiltration had the weather service offering crest ranges instead of a single crest figure at most river points.”

And continued,”Friday’s crest forecast of 37 to 39 feet was the first official deterministic crest prediction for Fargo from the weather service, which earlier in the week forecast a crest of 38 to 40 feet. Both forecasts were far below the weather service’s probability-based prediction April 16, which gave this spring’s flood a 40 percent chance of topping 2009’s record of 40.84 feet.”

Confused yet?  Me too.

There are a couple of pieces of information I have been looking for during the flood preparation briefings, but have not heard yet.

How does last year’s drought effect the flood forecast?  Is there any impact with ground saturation?

I usually hear about a percentage of rain or precipitation in the forecast, but have never heard anything about wind.  This weekend was pretty warm and the wind was gusty at times.  Two elements of evaporation.

My guess is those are not factors in determining a flood forecast.  Here it comes, four-to-five feet of rising water for two straight days.

Jason Spiess is executive producer of The Crude Life.  The Crude Life has been recording a daily Flood Photo Journal since April 2, 2013.  For additional flood photos and previous blogs visit www.thecrudelife.com.

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