Scott Dance reported in Saturday’s Washington Post that, “Record winter snowfall across northern Minnesota, which quickly melted in a spell of unprecedented spring heat, is dramatically swelling waterways along the upper Mississippi River basin.
“Major flood stages, the second highest on record in some spots, stretch from Minnesota and Wisconsin to Iowa and Illinois. In Stillwater, Minn., the water level along the St. Croix River, which feeds the Mississippi, is forecast to be the seventh highest on record as the city endures persistent floodwaters.”
“The flooding can cause disruption in river commerce, [Jason Knouft, a professor at Saint Louis University who studies large rivers] said, as the high and fast-moving waters make it harder to move barges upstream.”
The Post article added that, “Flood risks are expected to dissipate as the waters flow southward, because other major tributaries, such as the Ohio and Missouri rivers, are at lower levels, said Bob Criss, a hydrogeologist at Washington University in St. Louis. Farther downstream, the river is expected to reach moderate flood stage in Hannibal, Mo., around the middle of next week, but no flooding is in the forecast for St. Louis or points south.”
And Wall Street Journal writer Joe Barrett reported in Saturday’s paper that, “Cities in Iowa and Illinois are likely to face a big test of beefed-up flood defenses in the next week as flooding from record snow in Minnesota courses down the Mississippi River.”
Barrett pointed out that, “The floods aren’t expected to cause as much damage as they did in 2019, when melting snow, combined with three major rain events in the Mississippi River Valley, helped create one of the biggest and longest-lasting flood seasons on record. Rainfall is expected to stay below normal as the flood makes its way south, helping to limit damage and potentially allowing floodwaters to recede relatively quickly.”
“According to the National Weather Service, the worst of the flooding — the river’s crest — is forecast to occur over the weekend and into early next week, depending on the location along the river.
Snow melt in the upper Midwest has caused flooding on the Mississippi River. This will produce minor to moderate flooding into May at forecast points from Canton to Grafton. For more detailed information, check out our river forecast page here: https://t.co/TW8Im5ESeypic.twitter.com/rXPY4BxUsc
“In far northeastern Iowa, that crest has already occurred, and the flooding will begin to subside over the next several days. Farther south, the river won’t reach its highest point until Tuesday or Wednesday.”
Keith Good is the Farm Policy News editor for the farmdoc project. He has previously worked for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compiled the daily FarmPolicy.com News Summary from 2003-2015. He is a graduate of Purdue University (M.S.- Agricultural Economics), and Southern Illinois University School of Law.
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