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Flooding Risk Ramps Up Missouri to Michigan

By By Alex Sosnowski, expert senior meteorologist.
April 19, 2013, 11:43:43 PM EDT

The latest in a series of storms will raise significant flooding concerns for part of the Midwest into the end of the week.

Last year, much of the Midwest was bracing for a rough ride with building heat and drought.

In 2011, the story was record-challenging flooding.

This year, concerns have again flipped to flooding. Areas with an ongoing or developing flood potential extend from portions of Arkansas and Missouri to Michigan.


Flooding was an issue in many areas from Missouri to Illinois, southern Wisconsin and lower Michigan to close the week.

Late winter and early spring storms have made up for snow and rain deficits, pushing streams to bank full and have major rivers running well above their near-record lows from the start of the year.


There have already been some flooding incidents and more are likely over the next couple of weeks.

Factoring in the rain that fell to start the week, some locations racked up 3 to 6 inches of rain during the period from Monday through Friday.

This amount of rain will be enough to push rivers out of their banks. Major flooding is possible along some unprotected areas.

Some of the rivers likely to have flooding problems include the Des Plaines in Illinois, Illinois in Illinois, the Kankakee in Illinois and Indiana, the Wabash in Indiana and Illinois, the Grand in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and the Rock in Wisconsin.

According to Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "Chicago had less rain from June 1 to July 31, 2012 than they had since the current storm began with O'Hare Airport picking up 5.63 inches during the 72-hour period ending at 8:00 a.m. CDT, Thurs."

During the two-month period in 2012, 4.56 inches of rain fell at O'Hare.


Flooding is also forecast along portions of the Mississippi River.


Flooding along the Red River (of the North) is contingent upon how quickly existing snow cover melts over the next few weeks. If melting snow is accompanied by rain and sudden warmth, major flooding is possible in this basin.

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The combination of lingering chill and now frequent rainfall has spring planting well behind last year's pace. However, many farmers will trade extreme drought all season long with minor flooding problems early in the season. Unfortunately, the amount of rain that has targeted the area will more significant flooding problems in some communities.

The persistent rainfall and recent snowfall in the region will work to help add water to the Great and lesser lakes and reservoirs in the region.

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