Flood risk to expand from southern, midwestern US to the Northeast this weekend

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
February 23, 2019, 7:13:04 AM EST

While flooding problems will continue over parts of the South and Midwest, rain and melting snow may trigger flooding in part of the central Appalachians and mid-Atlantic region this weekend.

The expanding flooding risk will be caused by a major storm set to produce high winds, blizzard conditions and tornadoes this weekend.

Wet conditions since late last summer and heavy rainfall in recent days will keep rivers high and out of their banks from the lower Mississippi to the Tennessee and Ohio river basins this weekend and beyond.

Near where the Ohio flows into the Mississippi at Cairo, Illinois, water levels have reached major flood stage.

Farther south, along the Mississippi River at Osceola, Arkansas, major flooding is also occurring.

Many other tributaries and portions of major rivers in the region will reach moderate flood stage in the coming days.

In addition to stream and river flooding, additional rain through early this weekend will be enough to cause urban flooding from northeastern Texas and central Louisiana to southern Indiana, southern Ohio and southwestern West Virginia.

Rain X Central

As of Friday midday, many roads in Greenville, Mississippi, were partially flooded with numerous reports of cars stalled in high water.

An additional 2-4 inches of rain with local amounts to 6 inches can occur into Saturday night.

In hillside locations, the risk of mudslides will also exist. Meanwhile, sinkholes can open up with no notice.

Even areas over the southern Appalachians to Piedmont areas of Georgia and the Carolinas will be at risk for some stream and urban flooding problems into Sunday.

Meanwhile, in part of the Northeast, there is also the risk of flooding this weekend.

NE Sat night 2.22 AM

Never attempt to drive through flooded roadways no matter how shallow the water may seem. The water may be much deeper than it appears and the road surface beneath the water may have been washed out.

In the wake of this storm, a break from heavy rainfall is forecast in central and northern areas. However, downpours may continue to pester areas in the South Central and Southeastern states into early March.

What you should do if you get stuck driving in floodwaters
Preparing for the costliest weather disaster in the US: How to stay safe before, during and after a flood
AccuWeather 2019 US spring forecast
Large mudslides damage stretch of Highway 70 in Tennessee as flooding causes issues around the state
Northeastern US: Cold blast, high winds to follow brief warmup and flood risk this weekend

National Weather Service hydrologists in the mid-Atlantic region have described the long-term flood potential for the rest of the winter and spring as above normal.

AccuWeather's long range team of meteorologists expect flooding to remain a periodic problem well into the spring over the South Central and Midwest region thanks to more rain and runoff from melting snow to the north.

Download the free AccuWeather app to view the latest forecast and advisories for your area.

Podcast banner for news stories

Report a Typo


Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

More Weather News