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Spring flooding prompts road, bridge closure in northeastern ND

City of Grand Forks
Sorlie Bridge

At this time, only one bridge separates Grand Forks and East Grand Forks.

Recent rains, snow and runoff are filling up river systems in eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota.

Major flooding is occurring at Valley City along the Sheyenne River, as well as at many points along the Red River – including Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, Oslo, Drayton and Pembina. The Red Lake River at Crookston is also at major flood stage.

Grand Forks Public Information Officer John Bernstrom says only one bridge connects Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. The Point Bridge was closed yesterday, and the Sorlie Bridge was closed this morning. He says the Red River swelled significantly over the weekend.

"On Friday afternoon, the river in Grand Forks was hovering at about 28 feet. At last check this morning, it was at 43 feet. So it came up quick. Flood stage here is at 28. 43 feet here in Grand Forks puts us at moderate flood stage, and we're supposed to get up over 46, which puts us in major flood stage. National Weather Service has us forecasted at 48, maybe 49 foot range. So it's a lot of water coming through the river."

Bernstrom says residents who need to cross the river on the Kennedy Bridge should make sure they factor in extra time, as the bridge is fielding additional traffic.

The National Weather Service forecasts a warming pattern continuing throughout the week, with more precipitation predicted this weekend. This pattern could prolong high water levels.