River flooding that is already swamping part of the Midwest could get
worse Tuesday and Wednesday, as more rain and snow spreads over the
Areas from Oklahoma through Michigan are forecast to get
an inch of rain Tuesday - and some places will see twice that - by the
time the storm moves away later Tuesday night, the National Weather
Service forecasts. In Minnesota, a total of 3.5 inches of snow was
measured at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, while Duluth
has seen 8 inches of snow, the Weather Channel reports.
heaviest snowfall was recorded in western South Dakota, where more than a
foot of snow fell, according to the Weather Channel. The snow was yet
another blow for the winter-weary northern Plains, which has seen record
amounts of snow and record cold temperatures this month.
news is that this system should be less intense and faster-moving when
compared to last week's torrential rainstorms that sparked the worst of
the floods, according to AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
However, this additional rain could keep the rivers that are already at
flood stage from receding as fast.
As of Tuesday morning, more than 150 gauges were in flood stage
across the USA, almost all of them in the upper Midwest, according to
the weather service. This included 37 at "major" flood stage. Major
flood stage means there will be "extensive inundation of structures and
roads, and that significant evacuations are likely," according to the
Caused by the extremely heavy rain that fell
last week, the surge of high water is slowly making its way down the
Mississippi and Illinois rivers and their tributaries, according to
Steve Buan, a hydrologist with the North Central River Forecast Center
in Chanhassen, Minn.
He says that as of Monday afternoon, the
Mississippi River is at or near its peak now from the Quad Cities of
Iowa down to near Hannibal, Mo.
Spots to the south of St. Louis
aren't expected to crest until later this week, and significant flooding
is possible in places like Ste. Genevieve, Mo., Cape Girardeau, Mo.,
and Cairo, Ill.
n Grand Rapids, Mich., the worst appeared to be over Monday. The
Grand River in the city's downtown crested Sunday night at 21.85 feet.
It is expected to fall below the 18-foot flood stage by the end of the
week, city officials said.
"None of us have ever experienced anything quite like this," Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell said Monday.
Red River of the North, which flows to the north into Lake Winnipeg in
Canada, should reach peak levels by next week, according to Buan. The
Red River forms the border between North Dakota and Minnesota, and faces
a flood threat each year because of melting snow and spring rains.
Fargo, the Red River is forecast to reach major flood stage of 30 feet
by this weekend, according to a weather service website that predicts
river flood levels. The current river level in Fargo is about 16.5
feet, slightly up from the 15-foot level its been at for the past week.
an online report, the weather service in Grand Forks noted that by
Friday and into the weekend, "temperatures are expected to rise
significantly ... resulting in significant snowmelt runoff and more
rapid rises in river levels."
So far, the Midwest flooding has caused three deaths and could be responsible for two more.