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River flooding to persist in central US this week

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
April 10, 2017, 8:22:37 AM EDT

Water levels will remain at minor to moderate flood stage on some of the rivers in the Midwest and Southern states through this week.

While lower-than-average amounts of snow fell on much of the Midwest this past winter, recent rounds of showers and thunderstorms have produced a quick runoff into area small streams and rivers.

Low-lying, unprotected areas along the rivers in the Midwest, including the Illinois, Wabash, Kankakee, Rock, Missouri, Grand and Saginaw rivers, will face more flooding.

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Some communities without permanent flood protection may need to take action. Some low-lying roads in the area may be closed due to high water.

The high water initially, then the lingering wet soil could delay some planting operations for a few weeks.

Overall, the flooding in the Midwest will not be as serious as that of the past couple of years, when record flooding occurred in some locations.

"We expect this to be a short-term problem and not one that will persist for very long this spring from parts of Missouri, Iowa and Illinois to Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana," according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.

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There will likely be more separation between rounds of thunderstorms over the next few weeks, compared to March and early April.

"Building warmth in the region as well as strengthening sunshine should help to speed up evaporation rates and reduce the flooding threat moving forward this spring," Pastelok said.

Farther north in the Central states, flooding may be more significant and last longer.

"Storms with rain and snow are likely to frequent the area near the United States and Canada border in the coming weeks," Pastelok said.

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Some streams and rivers were above flood stage in the Deep South following rounds of torrential downpours and severe thunderstorms.

Minor to moderate flooding will persist along the Pearl River in Mississippi this week as the Calcasieu River also remains out of its banks in southwestern Louisiana.

Similar to the Midwest, there should be more separation between storm systems in the Deep South over the next couple of weeks, which should help ease river flooding concerns. An exception to this will be parts of central Texas, where storms will persist early this week.

Flooding will also remain a concern through the spring in parts of California, Oregon and Washington, following a winter with heavy storms that brought frequent low-elevation rain and mountain snow.

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