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Wahpeton gets more than 6 inches of rain; Fargo sets record with 3.33 inches Monday

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WAHPETON, N.D. - Residents were drying out here after more than 6 inches of rain fell on parts of the city Monday, flooding streets and infiltrating some basements.

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"I know there's some people with just some minor water in their basements, just a few of them, not a lot," said Brett Lambrecht, Richland County emergency manager.

The National Weather Service in Grand Forks received an unofficial report of 6.7 inches of rain Monday at the North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, meteorologist Vince Godon said.

Lambrecht said he emptied 7.25 inches from his rain gauge Monday in Wahpeton, and about 4.75 inches of that came between 6 and 9 p.m.

"It was coming down like cats and dogs," he said.

Wahpeton city officials issued a no-travel advisory about 9:45 p.m., and a weather service spotter reported water 2 to 3 feet deep flooding city streets and creeping onto front lawns.

The streets reopened about 11:30 or 11:45 p.m., and the city's storm sewer had caught up to the rainfall by midnight, Lambrecht said. Some stalled cars were still sitting in the street this morning, he said.

A flash flood warning for Richland County and neighboring Wilkin County, Minn., expired at 6 a.m.

The rainfall caused the Red River at Wahpeton to jump from about 5 feet at 4 p.m. Monday to 6.9 feet at 7 a.m. today. Flood stage is 10 feet.

Lambrecht and Godon said they don't expect any problems from river flooding.

"Down in Wahpeton itself, the river came up a couple feet, so that will work down the Red River through Abercrombie, Hickson and Fargo," Godon said. "But usually when it moves that far it dampens out a bit, and the levels have been fairly low recently."

Fargo's Hector International Airport set a record rainfall for the day, with 3.33 inches, beating the previous record of 2.1 inches set on Aug. 11, 1963. Another 0.12 inch fell from midnight to 7 a.m. today.

Grand Forks International Airport also set a rainfall record Monday with 1.64 inches, topping the previous record of 0.89 inch set in 1999.

Other rainfall totals in the region Monday included 3.15 inches in Hankinson, 2.5 inches in Lidgerwood and 4.3 inches in Breckenridge, Minn., Godon said.

"I think just about everybody had rain. It's just some areas got more than others," he said.

The next chances for rain are Wednesday night through Friday, he said.

"At this point, none of that really looks like it would be substantial," he said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528

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