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No. 3 and rising

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The 2009 flood became the third-largest event in the history of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks on Monday.

And it may be the second-largest flood event before the Red River hits its crest later this week.

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The Red River first topped the previous third-largest event when the river reading reached 48.83 feet in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks at 12:30 p.m. Monday.

That surpassed the crest of 48.81`feet in 1979.

The river was at 48.88 feet at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

The highest crest ever recorded in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks was 54.35 feet during the Flood of 1997. The second-highest event is 50.20 feet in 1897.

National Weather Service officials project Grand Forks and East Grand Forks to reach a crest of 50.6 feet on Friday. Crests are unofficial until certified by the United States Geological Survey.

The river level in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks jumped half a foot from 10:15 a.m. Sunday to 3 p.m. Monday, when it stood at 48.88 feet.

Brad Hopkins, NWS meteorologist, said the bump was expected.

"The crest of the Red Lake has worked its way from Crookston," he said. "And, of course, the confluence is here in town. . . . It may steady out a little bit, then we'll start to see the water come in from the Fargo area."

More snow coming

Flood-fighting efforts could be hampered by snow and wind over the next couple of days.

A winter weather advisory has been issued for the Grand Forks area beginning Monday afternoon and ending Wednesday morning.

The slow-moving system could dump 4 to 6 inches of snow in the Grand Forks area, with 8 inches to a foot in the Fargo area. Winds will increase to 20 to 25 mph today, with gusts to 30 mph.

New snowfall won't affect the Red River crest in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks.

"Cooler temperatures are keeping things still locked up over land," Hopkins said.

A secondary crest in Grand Forks is likely, with the height to be determined by melt and snowfall and rainfall amounts in the next couple of weeks.

"We are going to be looking at a secondary crest in April when it all melts," said Dave Kellenbenz, a meteorologist with the NWS.

Below-normal temperatures are forecast through the rest of the week.

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