Flood Mitigation of the Red River Floodplain, Grand Forks, North Dakota

Created by Mark Nelson 

UW-Eau Claire Undergraduate

 Geography 361 Environmental Hazards

1997 Red River Flood

Floodplain Mitigation

Flood Hazards and Terms



  In the spring of 1997 the town of Grand Forks, North Dakota experienced a flood of catastrophic proportion.  The winter brought no fewer than eight blizzards to the area besides other days of snowfall. The Grand Forks area recorded nearly 100 inches of snowfall for the winter more than doubling our average snowfall for the season.  It was soon after this when the snow started to melt and the river began to rise rapidly.  The town saw 75% of its area under water.  Since this flood the town’s leaders have adopted a plan of action in preparation for future floods.  After the 1997 flood the city has taken action in preparing for floods to lessen the monetary damages and to reduce the loss of life that can be associated with flooding.  In cooperation with federal, state and local governments, along with help form the communities businesses and its residents the town has put this plan into effect.  Grand Forks is not the only town that can benefit from floodplain mitigation.  Especially those located close to ephemeral streams that are subject to seasonal flooding.  By properly creating land-use plans for flood plain areas and having a ready set action for flood response a community can deal with flooding that is not a question of if but when.

Downtown Grand Forks, N.D. during the 1997 flood

Source: www.climate.umn.edu/doc/ journal/top5/numberfour.htm