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Midwest Storms Cause Flooding Along Red River

April 01, 2006|From the Associated Press

FARGO, N.D. — Flooding from heavy rain and snowmelt along the Red River threatened homes and washed out roadways, officials said Friday.

The rain was part of a line of thunderstorms and tornadoes that tore up homes, knocked down power lines and injured several people as it moved across the Midwest a day earlier.

The severe weather continued across central Indiana on Friday night, spawning tornadoes blamed for damaging several homes and businesses. No serious injuries were immediately reported.

"These storms were also prolific hail producers. We've had reports of golf-ball-sized hail," said John Ogren, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Indianapolis.

In North Dakota, the rising Red River brought back memories of high water in 1997 that swamped Grand Forks and caused heavy damage throughout the valley bordering North Dakota and Minnesota.

The weather service predicted major flooding for the Grand Forks area, saying the river could rise to about 47 feet next week. Flood stage in Grand Forks is 28 feet.

A 57-year-old woman was found dead facedown in a water-filled ditch on Interstate 29 in Grand Forks County Friday. She apparently fell into the water after trying to walk home when her vehicle got stuck, sheriff's Maj. Mike Fonder said.

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