Central US to face continued flood risk as calendar turns to August
Flash floods across Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, turned roads into fast-moving rivers on July 30.
After rain fell in portions of South Dakota and Nebraska on Wednesday and Thursday, those areas will have drier conditions to end the week. However, heavy rain with the potential for flooding will continue farther east and linger into the end of the weekend.
Cities such as St. Louis, Nashville, Tennessee, and Louisville, Kentucky, have already had rounds of heavy rainfall this week. Therefore, any floodwaters may be slow to recede, and renewed flooding will also be possible.
"Those out driving across the region should be on the lookout for water-covered roadways and always remember never to drive through floodwaters," Pydynowski said.
Drivers on stretches of interstates 40, 44, 55 and 70 could face not only the water-covered roadways that Pydynowski mentioned, but also reductions in visibility due to the intensity of the rain. In addition to avoiding flooded roadways, slowing down is also advised to reduce the risk of hydroplaning on wet pavement.
The strongest storms can produce strong wind gusts, but heavy rainfall will be the main concern. With the ground saturated due to the heavy rain, even winds that are not overly strong can cause trees to topple.
Rain is likely to shift farther north for the second half of the weekend. However, the rain will move away much more quickly, and the precipitation will even be beneficial in some areas.
"The heaviest rain will likely shift northward by Sunday into parts of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, northern Indiana and northern Ohio," Pydynowski said. "Some of these areas have been experiencing a slight to moderate drought, so the rainfall would be welcome," he noted.
While the risk of showers and thunderstorms will return in some of the hard-hit areas next week, any rainfall is likely to be neither as heavy nor as long-lasting.
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