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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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