The National Weather Service in Grand Forks has released its first Spring Flood Outlook of the year.
Greg Gust is a warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service. He says the second half of this winter will continue to be colder and snowier than average, and threat for significant spring flooding throughout the region is high. Gust says threat level is moderate to high for flooding on tributaries in Eastern North Dakota, but the greatest risk of significant flooding is for the Devils Lake Basin. Gust says Devils Lake reached a record elevation at just above 1454 feet in 2011...
"But it's gone down, and it's gone down to 1450.3, and it was at 1450 for much of the last year and a half. And what that means is typically, in the summer we lose even more - so with no runoff virtually at all last winter and spring, the summertime rain kept the lake from going down. So we have a higher lake at freeze up now than we had through much of this last year. That just shows you how much excess water is in there now."
Gust says current projections show the lake could rise between three and four feet this spring, which could bring the lake back to its historic high level from 2011. The level at which Devils Lake spills through the Tolna Coulee into the Sheyenne River is 1458.