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Widespread heavy rain occurred across western and central North Dakota on July 8th through July 9th, 2019 as a slow moving low pressure system moved through the area. Heavy rain was mainly the result of thunderstorms with very high rain rates, training over the same areas for several hours. Flash flooding occurred in areas where the heaviest rainfall amounts were observed within the shortest period of time, mainly across Sioux and Emmons counties. In fact, some areas in Emmons County measured over 6 inches of rain on the 8th. Amounts were similar in portions of Sioux County, where radar estimated rainfall amounts as high as 8 inches were observed. This is more than half of the average annual rainfall in these areas. It is also worth noting that this same area received several inches of rain about one week prior, on July 3rd.

High soil moisture and additional heavy rain on the 8th led to flash flooding in these areas, which contributed to a very deep road washout on Route 1806 south of Fort Yates in Sioux County. Unfortunately, this created a dangerous situation for people driving along this road, and sadly led to two fatalities and two injuries. These are the first ever documented fatalities associated with flash flooding in Sioux County.

The city of Bismarck also experienced flash flooding on July 8th as approximately 1.5 to 2.0 inches of rain fell within a mere 30 minutes across portions of the metro area. Although this amount of rain wasn't nearly as much as what fell further south, this was enough to cause flash flooding in an urban area and led to dangerous driving conditions.

Flooding was also reported in the Southern James River Valley and portions of northwest and north central North Dakota on July 9, 2019. These areas received impressive rainfall reports as well, mainly between 2 and 6 inches. This rain fell over a longer duration compared to the rain that fell over Sioux and Emmons counties on July 8th.

Rainfall Map
Estimated Rainfall Totals from Reports Received
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