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State officials have begun planning for spring flooding after a record wet fall in North Dakota.

Officials from nearly a dozen agencies, including the Governor’s Office, Department of Emergency Services and National Guard, held an initial coordination meeting in Bismarck on Tuesday.

“We’re starting flood preparations earlier than normal because these unprecedented wet conditions pose a serious threat to people and property next spring, in addition to the tremendous hardship they’re causing our farmers and ranchers right now,” Gov. Doug Burgum said.

September 2019 was the wettest on record for North Dakota, according to National Weather Service. The three-month period of August, September and October was the wettest on record in 125 years in the state, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. The winter outlook also calls for a 40% chance of above-normal precipitation over the next three months, according to the weather service.

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“The wetness we've experienced over the past few months is greater than once-in-a-generation,” weather service hydrologist Allen Schlag said.

The National Weather Service will release its spring flood outlooks for North Dakota on Feb. 13, Feb. 27 and March 12. For more information on flood preparedness, go to www.ndresponse.gov.

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