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Web Portal Changes: In Spring 2024, the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) hosted at will be replaced by the National Water Prediction Service (NWPS) at a repurposed A preview of NWPS is available here, where you can see your station hydrograph by replacing SSSSS with the station 5-character id:

Flood Inundation Mapping: Experimental real-time flood Inundation mapping services for 10% of the United States are now available via the NWS Map Viewer. Additional products and geospatial services depicting River Forecast Center and National Water Model forecasts continue to be accessible as described in the StoryMap here.

Please visit for more information.

Hydrograph River at a Glance Download
West Fork Des Moines River at Estherville Stage (ft)Flow (cfs)USGS--Water Resources of the United StatesESVI4(plotting HGIRP) Graph Created (5:18AM Feb 23, 2024)Flood Stage is 10 ft
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About this graph
Tabular Data (UTC)
Tabular Data (CST)
XML Data
RSS Files
Datum: NAVD88
NOTE: Forecasts for the West Fork Des Moines River at Estherville are issued as needed during times of high water, but are not routinely available.

More information on datums is available at

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Upstream Gauge - at Jackson Upstream Gauge Downstream Gauge Downstream Gauge - at Emmetsburg
Flood Categories (in feet)
Major Flood Stage: 14.5
Moderate Flood Stage: 13
Flood Stage: 10
Action Stage: 8
Low Stage (in feet): -9999

Historic Crests
(1) 17.68 ft on 04/12/1969
(2) 15.61 ft on 04/10/1965
(3) 15.53 ft on 06/08/1953
(4) 15.38 ft on 06/30/1993
(5) 15.24 ft on 03/25/2019
(6) 14.89 ft on 07/09/2018
(7) 14.30 ft on 04/14/1984
(8) 12.66 ft on 07/06/1983
(9) 12.22 ft on 04/06/1962
(10) 12.03 ft on 03/25/1961
Show More Historic Crests

(P): Preliminary values subject to further review.

Recent Crests
(1) 15.24 ft on 03/25/2019
(2) 14.89 ft on 07/09/2018
(3) 8.01 ft on 05/23/2017
(4) 9.95 ft on 06/19/1994
(5) 10.10 ft on 03/06/1994
(6) 15.38 ft on 06/30/1993
(7) 8.59 ft on 03/07/1992
(8) 11.11 ft on 06/11/1991
(9) 5.28 ft on 06/19/1990
(10) 4.50 ft on 03/29/1989
Show More Recent Crests

(P): Preliminary values subject to further review.

Low Water Records
Currently none available.

For more information on your flood risk go to

Zoom Level:14
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Gauge LocationGauge Map Marker
Latitude/Longitude Disclaimer: The gauge location shown in the above map is the approximate location based on the latitude/longitude coordinates provided to the NWS by the gauge owner.
Flood Impacts & Photos Collapse
If you notice any errors in the below information, please contact our Webmaster
15 Several evacuations and road closures may occur.
14.5 Water affects residences along West 1st Street north and south of Iowa 9...and along Valley Drive.
14 Sandbagging may be needed on the W side of Estherville.
13 Backwater from the river causes School Creek to flood Valley Drive. Burr Oak Road...and some other secondary roads in rural Emmet County may be closed.
12.5 Water affects West 1st Street north and south of Iowa 9. Some residences just south of Estherville flood.
12 Water affects the low areas of West 1st Street south of Iowa 9. Residences on Valley Drive along School Creek are affected.
11 Mike Mickelson Park South of Iowa 9 is inundated.
10 There is extensive lowland flooding particularly over the parkland areas near the river.
7 Mike Mickelson Park South of Iowa 9 floods. North Riverside Park North of Iowa 9 floods. Backwater from the river causes School Creek to affect the low areas of Valley Drive.
About This Location Collapse

Latitude: 43.399250° N, Longitude: 94.846000° W, Horizontal Datum: NAD83/WGS84

River Stage
Reference Frame
Gauge Height Flood Stage Uses
NWS stage 0 ft 10 ft Interpreting hydrographs and NWS watch, warnings, and forecasts, and inundation maps
Vertical Datum Elevation
(gauge height = 0)
(gauge height = flood stage)
Elevation information source
NAVD88 1247.55 ft Not Available Survey grade GPS equipment, FEMA flood plain maps, newer USGS topographic maps
NGVD 29 Not Available Not Available Older USGS topographic maps, NGVD29 benchmarks
MSL Not Available Not Available Older USGS topographic maps, MSL benchmarks
Other Not Available Not Available  

Current/Historical Observations:

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The National Weather Service prepares its forecasts and other services in collaboration with agencies like the US Geological Survey, US Bureau of Reclamation, US Army Corps of Engineers, Natural Resource Conservation Service, National Park Service, ALERT Users Group, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and many state and local emergency managers across the country. For details, please click here.
NWS Information
National Weather Service
Des Moines Weather Forecast Office
9607 NW Beaver Dr.
Des Moines, IA 50131
(515) 270-2614
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Page last modified: 2-Nov-2020 7:29 PM
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