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    Wet June has the Upper Mississippi River on the Rise

    By by Alex Sosnowski, senior meteorologist.
    June 27, 2014, 2:46:53 PM EDT

    Rounds of thunderstorm complexes this spring and early summer have the upper Mississippi River on the rise.


    Rainfall between two and three times that of normal has fallen on portions of the northern and central Plains so far this June with near normal to double the average rainfall for the month in many areas farther south.

    A large portion of the central and northern Plains will finish June with a foot of rain.

    June Rainfall

    Rainfall (Inches)
    Sioux City, Iowa
    Spencer, Iowa
    Minneapolis, Minn.
    International Falls, Minn.
    Norfolk, Neb.
    Omaha, Neb.

    From 1 to 2 inches of rain fell on portions of Iowa and northwestern Illinois Sunday afternoon into Monday morning.

    The northern Plains got a break from the heavy rain early this week. However, there will be a few drenching showers and storms farther south over central Plains and Midwest.

    Another round of showers and thunderstorms will affect the northern Plains and the upper reaches of the Mississippi River late this week and into the weekend.

    The Situation on the Mississippi River

    Enough rain has fallen on tributaries of the upper Mississippi River to continue to cause the waterway to rise this week.

    Major flooding was occurring on the Mississippi River in portions of southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

    Hydrologists with the National Weather Service are projecting the Mississippi to reach major flood stage at Burlington, Iowa early next week.

    Mississippi River levels will continue to rise into early July farther downstream at Quincy, Illinois, and eventually St. Louis but lock and dam operations will significantly mitigate these levels.

    Low-lying areas not protected by levees, such as farmland, waterfront properties and some roadways, will be inundated once river levels surpass flood stage.

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    Heavy rainfall over the past couple of weeks pushed the Big Sioux and Little Sioux rivers out of their banks in Iowa.

    At Akron, Iowa, the Big Sioux River crested at a record 25.58 feet on June18, 2014. The Little Sioux River at Linn Grove, Iowa, nearly equaled a record high level on June 18.


    Minor to moderate flooding is forecast along portions of the Red River (of the North) at Fargo and Grand Forks, North Dakota, as well as along portions of the Missouri River in Nebraska and Missouri.

    No significant impact to barge traffic is expected from St. Louis on to the south at this time. However, if heavy rainfall continues over the central Plains and were to expand farther east over the Midwest, the situation could change in the weeks ahead.

    As long as there is enough separation between individual complexes of thunderstorms farther east over the Midwest, water levels on the major rivers, such as the Ohio and lower Mississippi, should remain fairly stable or well within the operating range of barges.

    Fast flowing water was having a negative impact on barge operations in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

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