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NWS warns of possible 2020 spring flooding

The National Weather Service says odds are favoring a wetter-than-normal winter and a higher risk of spring flooding across the northern plains and into the Great Lakes. Meteorologist Chris Foltz tells Brownfield, ” When you combine that with the conditions we’ve seen over the last 16-or-so months across the northern plains, it’s really kind of setting the stage for at least the potential for some significant flooding as we move into the springtime and that winter snowpack begins to melt off.”

Foltz says the saturated ground won’t allow much of the winter snowpack to melt into the ground next spring, causing more runoff and higher flows in creeks and further downstream. “The bigger concern is going to be next spring when we start to see things thaw out, especially along the main stem rivers like the Missouri, the Red River of the north, and the Mississippi rivers. Those all could be impacted next spring if we have an active winter.”

Foltz says if there is more-than-average snowfall this winter, it would likely cause more widespread flooding than last spring.  He says it might be wise for farmers to plan for more moisture if they can. “Farmers know better than anybody where they’re used to seeing moisture on their land, and so, just be aware of it, know that the potential is there, and do everything that you can to prepare ahead of time.”

He says several states are entering winter with wetter than normal soils, and higher than normal river and reservoir levels. 

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