1997 Floods in the Red River of the North and Missouri River Basins in North Dakota and Western Minnesota

Record floods devastated many communities along rivers and streams in the Red River of the North (Red River) and Missouri River Basins in North Dakota and western Minnesota during the spring of 1997. Record snowfall over much of the region during the winter of 1996-97 along with added precipitation from a late-spring blizzard on April 5-06, 1997, caused the worst flooding in several areas in more than 100 years. Thousands of people were forced to flee their homes, some permanently, as floodwaters and severe weather caused nearly 2 billion dollars in damages to the region. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), one of the principal Federal agencies responsible for the collection and interpretation of water resources data, works with other Federal, State, and local agencies to ensure that accurate and timely data are available for making decisions regarding the public's welfare (a listing of cooperators in the Red River Basin is given on page 8). This report presents preliminary water-resources data on the 1997 floods that were obtained from selected streamflow gaging stations located in the Red River and Missouri River Basins (fig. 1).
Date Issued
Number of Pages
Associated Organization
U.S. Geological Survey
Main Topic
Body of Water
Rights Holder
Minnesota Water Research Digital Library
Rights Management
Creative Commons