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New Record Streamflows for Devils Lake Basin
Released: 4/15/2011 5:07:12 PM

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Marisa Lubeck 1-click interview
Phone: 303-202-4765

Many points in the Devils Lake Basin of North Dakota reached all-time record streamflows during the past few days, according to real-time U.S. Geological Survey streamgage data. 

Steamflows at most USGS gaging stations in the western portion of the Devils Lake Basin reached their highest levels since streamgaging began in the area about 55 years ago. A new maximum streamflow of 3,800 cubic feet per second at the Mauvais Coulee near Cando, N.D. streamgage was set on April 14, breaking the previous peak streamflow near Cando of 3,000 cubic feet per second during the 1997 flood.  Peak flows on Edmore and Starkweather Coulees are similar to flows recorded during the 2009 flood.

“Since early April, four USGS hydrographers have been servicing the six streamflow gaging stations and six water level gages in the Devils Lake Basin and measuring streamflow and water levels at all stations,” said Gregg Wiche, director of the USGS North Dakota Water Science Center. “The USGS data are used by various National, State, and local agencies for flood forecasts, the operation of dams, the design of levees, and decision making.”

The USGS collects data from more than 100 streamgages in North Dakota, most of which provide real-time data that is transmitted every hour. For the latest and most accurate streamflow data for North Dakota, visit the real-time streamflow web page

Links to graphics that allow for comparison of the current river stage to historical peaks and to the National Weather Service flood stage are available on the USGS WaterWatch web page for North Dakota or through links on the USGS North Dakota Water Science Center flood web page.

For more than 125 years, the USGS has monitored flow in selected streams and rivers across the U.S. The information is routinely used for water supply and management, monitoring floods and droughts, bridge and road design, determination of flood risk, and for many recreational activities.

Note to media representatives: USGS crews will be measuring streamflow in the Devils Lake area for the next several days. News media interested in accompanying a USGS crew may contact Marisa Lubeck at 303-202-4765 or mlubeck@usgs.gov.

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