By Bill Hudson, WCCO-TV

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — After our week of melting, the chances Minnesota will be seeing major flooding this spring is growing greater. The National Weather Service put out a new flood forecast Thursday that increases the odds on all major river systems.

That forecast bumps the odds of major flooding on the Red River in the Fargo-Moorhead area up to 70 percent. On the upper Minnesota River near Montevideo, it increases to a 90 percent chance of flooding.

The news is just as dire for the Twin Cities region. On the Mississippi River at St. Paul, there is a 95 to 98 percent chance of major flooding. On the St. Croix River in Stillwater, the flooding prospects are up to 75 percent.

We thought we might catch a break because of this week’s early melt, but apparently there’s just too much moisture in the river basins. So, instead of our gradual thaw improving the flood outlook, it’s getting worse.

If Red River Valley residents have any doubts about their need to fill three-million sandbags in anticipation of another flood fight, those thoughts vanished with the latest report.

According to the NWS, the current thaw hasn’t impacted the latest forecast.

“I wish I could tell you that has lessened the threat of flooding, but it hasn’t changed a thing,” said Dan Luna with the NWS.

Computer modeling by the NWS predicts major flooding in the Fargo-Moorhead area for the third straight spring. And while the region has lost some snow pack this week, the water content is hanging around.

“While the snow packs have decreased in size, that water still remains on top of the ground, in ditches or just below the snow,” explained Luna.

In fact, no river basin is going to be immune from flooding. It’s a prediction that’s prompting Minnesota’s Homeland Security Emergency Management director Kris Eide to urge everyone to begin making plans.

“If they know they’ll be evacuated when we hit certain river levels, they need to ask where will they go, and how will they communicate with families so they can protect their property?” said Eide.

Adding to concerns is a long-term forecast calling for lower temperatures and above average precipitation in the coming weeks. That’s putting the entire state on a collision course for flooding that we can’t avoid.

“Highly unlikely. Those chances are there, but it’s very small,” Luna said.

Experts say now is the time for homeowners and businesses to consider purchasing flood insurance to protect their valuables. However, since there is a 30-day waiting period before the insurance goes into effect, that time window is quickly closing.

Bill Hudson

Comments (8)
  1. 40 days and 40 nights says:

    Here’s an idea… don’t live in a floodplain..

    1. Northern Minnesota says:

      I’m not complaining. Just stating a fact from esperience.

  2. northern minnesota says:

    I have heard that flood insurance only covers structual damage, it does not cover personal damage. I have also heard that homeowners insurance does not cover any damage from flooding. Is this true? If this is the case then flood insurance is a waste of money.

  3. common sense says:

    How would flood insurance be a waste of money if regular homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flood damage? You think water in drywall, rotting wood, caved in foundation and everything else that could come with water damage pays for itself? Do you live in a boat?

  4. Northern Minnesota says:

    No, actually i live on a river. Our house was flooded in 1997, 2001, and 2009. We had flood insurance, the only thing that they would have covered is if our basement walls would have caved in. They did not cover carpeting, sheetrock, furnace, washer or dryer, cupboards. Homeowners insurance would not cover it either because it was flood related. We live with chance of flooding every year.

    1. bill doe says:

      heres an idea. MOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Deb says:

    Insurance for flooding is a joke. I don’t live in a flooding area, but that is not to say we could not have enough moisture in the ground that it is so saturated, that if we get a lot of rain my basement won’t flood or walls in the basement cave in. There is a small pond less than a mile from my house that could rise with lots of rain. I checked with my insurance company to see if I could get some insurance for basement flooding or caving and was told “No” unless the sewer backs up we cannot get help! Seems to me that if I am willing to pay for it, I should be able to have it!