More Rain for Already Flooded Arkansas, Ohio Valley

May 2, 2011; 11:39 AM ET
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More flooding is inevitable from Arkansas to the Ohio Valley since the already water-logged region will not be able to handle the additional rain that will pour down through Tuesday.

The potential exists for an additional 3 to 5 inches of rain to soak the corridor from northeastern Texas to the Ohio Valley through Tuesday.

For places from central Texas to western Tennessee, some of this rain came in the form of severe thunderstorms.

That amount of rain would alone raise concerns for flash flooding. But with the ground already saturated and rivers severely flooding, new flooding issues are inevitable.

Residents in low-lying, poor drainage and urban areas can expect the return of flood waters. Small streams that may have receded during the recent brief dry spell should once again overflow their banks.

Flooding along already swollen large rivers will worsen, heightening the potential for more levees to fail.

"The stress on the levees in some locations will not only last days, but weeks, as huge rivers such as the Mississippi and Ohio take much longer to fall below flood stage than smaller rivers, even as heavy rain comes to an end," stated Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

Many of the larger rivers are already at moderate to major flood stage from Indiana to northeastern Arkansas. This includes the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.

The level of the Ohio River at Cairo, Ill., stood at a record level of 59.97 feet Sunday afternoon, and is expected to continue to rise to above 60 feet the next few days.

The Black River at Corning, Ark., shattered its previous record crest of 16.92 feet from June 1945 when the river rose to 18.12 feet on Thursday. The level of the river dropped to under 17 feet on Saturday, but should rise once again with the impending rain.

Drier weather will finally return to the Arklatex by Tuesday. The Ohio Valley will have to wait until Wednesday for the heavy rain's departure.

New flooding problems already returned to places in and around Arkansas over the weekend with the heavy rain's initial arrival. Runoff from the rain submerged many streets in Jonesboro, Ark., Sunday afternoon.


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