Jumpy Red

The Red River jumped over a foot right after our Tuesday morning thunderstorm.  It had already risen almost three feet since last weekend due to heavy rainfall here and upstream.  So the river is high again.  It has been above flood stage since for all but a couple of days since the end of March.

Rainfall this summer has been above average, but not so heavy as other recent summers.  So why won’t the river ever go down?  It is because the sponge is full of water.  The ongoing two-decade wet period, and the last three years in particular, have filled every lake, slough, and reservoir to capacity.  Soils are saturated.  There is no room to store any more water.  So it takes much less rain to cause the river system to rise, suggesting that it would require less of a torrential rain to cause a major flood.

There is no immediate threat, of course, but there is enough reason to remain watchful and concerned.