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Weather Talk: Summer floods are possible with enough rain

Here in Fargo Moorhead, our recent flood experiences have given us the view that the worst floods here happen in spring. But it is very important to realize that a summer flood battle is also possible.

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The stadium lights at Jack Williams Field in Fargo poke through the swollen Red River during the 2009 flood. David Samson / The Forum

Here in Fargo Moorhead, our recent flood experiences have given us the view that the worst floods here happen in spring. But it is very important to realize that a summer flood battle is also possible.

There was a serious summer flood back in 1975. Following a very rainy month of June, a 14-inch deluge fell upstream from Fargo in northern Richland County and southern Cass County. The Red peaked at 33.5 feet in early July. That was a significant flood for the time with much smaller dikes and no Sheyenne Diversion Channel. But average annual precipitation during the 1970s was near the long term average. Soils were not perpetually soaked and the water table was not perpetually like is has been in recent years.

It is a false hope to believe the mechanics of a disastrous flood only exist in the spring when the ground is frozen. The Minot flood of 2011 happened in summer and it could happen here, too. All it takes is enough rain.

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