Greater flood risks along Mississippi River

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the Mississippi River has a higher chance of flooding this spring due to the significant snowpack in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

National Weather Service Hydrologist Mary Lamm says the severity of flooding where there were record low river levels last October depends on how fast and when the northern snowpack melts combined with spring rainfall.

“I don’t think it’s going to be as bad in this area as it will be further north toward St. Louis and Davenport,” she says.

National Weather Service Hydrologist Mark Fuchs says he is expecting moderate flooding along the river from Quincy to Grafton, Illinois, with minor flooding along the Missouri River.

“We had normal precipitation over the winter across much of the area, perhaps above normal in the southeastern part of Missouri.”

Both hydrologists tell Brownfield it isn’t uncommon for the river to go from record lows to flooding in six months.

“We can go all the way back to 2011 with record flooding across the region,” says Lamm. “And then turnaround in 2012 and see record drought.”

Missouri Agriculture Director Chris Chinn says it’s too soon to know how the flooding will affect Mississippi River navigation.

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