Skip to Content

National Weather Service says spring flooding chances are “above normal risk” along Mississippi River

Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00

DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL) - The National Weather Service out of the Quad Cities released their first spring flooding outlook for 2020.

The NWS says the biggest concern for flooding this season is on the Mississippi River. Area rivers like the Cedar and Iowa River are also marked as above normal for chances of flooding.

KWWL's Storm Track 7 Meteorologist Brandon Libby says the wet fall sets up for the spring flooding.

"As winter rolled along it trapped some of that moisture in the ground, so when it comes time for spring and everything starts to thaw out there's no where for that run off to go," Libby said.

Libby also tracking a below average snowfall for eastern Iowa. The snowfall amount playing a key factor in the flooding season.

"That's actually the one thing that's going to play into our favor, with the flooding, is less snowfall. However there's still a chance for more snow this winter. If we have a wet spring that could also increase our risk for that flooding," Libby said.

Iowa DNR's Nate Johnson says high waters on the Mississippi are the new normal.

"Last March or so the river came up pretty high, and it stayed high all summer long, and we've been high all winter. The river used to get down and stay around the eight to nine foot range. Now most of the winter we've been 10 to 12 feet is what we've been at the most of the year," Johnson said.

Johnson says they are ready to tackle the high waters by making sure their emergency equipment is ready at a moment's notice. Johnson and the National Weather Service says those affected by area rivers should start preparing for flooding while paying attention to forecasts.

"We don't want to have to go do rescues, but we'll do them if the situation presents itself, safety is our number one concern and we don't want people out there getting themselves in trouble," Johnson said.

It's not just the Dubuque area that could be seeing these high Mississippi water levels, but all the way down to Missouri. The National Weather Service also discussed little snowfall, longer melting periods and lighter spring rains can decrease the flood threat.

click here for the full Spring 2020 Flood Outlook

Vinny Lowerre

Producer & Multimedia Journalist

Skip to content