The Red River of the North forms the border between North Dakota and Minnesota. In this activity, students will analyze the 500-year flood that took place in 1997 on the Red River of the North, focusing on the destruction that took place in the communities of Grand Forks, North Dakota, and East Grand Forks, Minnesota.
Students will answer the following questions:
The web links below can be used as a way to introduce the activities that follow. Students should browse these links to give them an overview of the Red River Valley and the flood. After viewing them, students should know the geographic location of the Red River Valley (be able to find it on a map), have read the flood facts, and have a general idea of the timeline of the flood, and how it affected the people living in the flood zones. Students should complete the exploratory activity that follows; then work on each of the four activities to give them an idea of the size, speed, and ferocity of such a flood, and how to prepare for and clean up after a flood.
Information on Flooding in the Red River Basin - From Fargo flood page
2) Red River Flood Facts
3) These 31 days ... a remembrance
4) The Night Two Cities Fell Apart
5) Grand Forks Herald's Flood Pages:
|Main page||April 17||April 18|
|April 19||April 20||April 21|
|April 22||April 23||April 24|
|April 25||April 26||April 27|
|1) The Flood of the Century - Michigan Tech||5) 1996-97 Winter Months recapped|
|2) The blizzards hit and hit and hit... - Grand Forks Herald||6) Normal Weather Conditions for Grand Forks|
|3) Winter's Last Blast: Hannah - Grand Forks Herald||7) Four conditions that make the Valley prone to flooding|
|4) 1997 Blizzard - Hannah||8) Torrents on a Tabletop - Grand Forks Herald|
2) Students will then analyze the river flow data from March - June 1997 and answer the questions found by the data table
the activity below, students can calculate the "size" of the flood (using
NIH Image) as it moved through the Red River Valley.
Each image used in this activity will have to be converted to TIFF or PICT format by Graphic Converter, GIF Converter, Paint Shop Pro, or similar software. All software can be found in NMP's tools and download page. The image used to guide the students through the activity is the April 21st satellite photo. The other images that can be used in this activity are:
|April 21||April 22||April 25||April 27||May 1|
Student Worksheet - the size of the
4) Lastly students will study how to properly prepare for and clean
up after a flood. The following links may prove useful in their search.
Student Activity - cleaning up after
Great aerial images of the flood from Ag
Grand Forks after the 1997 Flood
A photo collage - from North Dakota League of Cities
The Story of the Flood - a first hand account
1997 Red River Valley Basin Flood Page
USA Today article and information about the flood.
A disaster's deep scars - USA Today article written two years after the flood.