This is not an ocean

Illustration for article titled This is not an ocean

Heavy snow melt, moist soil, and North Dakota's peculiar geography combined over the weekend to turn the roads and fields around Fargo into a seemingly giant shallow ocean. Called overland flooding, it creates bizarrely apocalyptic scenes like this.

The Red River crested on Saturday night to the fourth highest level in history, sending water into the area around the cities of Fargo, North Dakota and its neighbor Moorhead, Minnesota. Because of the extreme flatness of this valley area, the water traveled mostly unimpeded at a slow, shallow rate across the empty plains.


Approximately 60 miles of roads were closed in the county and another ten miles were washed over, including Interstate 29 as seen in the video. Unlike other flooding situations where driving across the water is extremely dangerous, the water's mostly still and therefore presents a lower risk as long as you're driving at a very low speed and not creating wakes.

Illustration for article titled This is not an ocean

It's still not advisable to travel and there have been a few rescues of trapped motorists, including one man in a tractor, but if you're willing to risk your car you can get an image of it driving Christ-like across the muddy brown water.

Illustration for article titled This is not an ocean

Photos: Scott Olsen/Getty Images

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Turbineguy: Nom de Zoom

I say bust out the waterskis and wetsuit.

Lemons into lemonade.