Recent Weather Has Elevated Flooding Risks In Eastern Iowa
Before the snow melted and came back this week, the National Weather Service said the risk of flooding this spring in Iowa was “below normal to near normal".
Now the chance of flooding for the Mississippi River is rising.
Meteorologist John Haase told WVIC that the chances of flooding are "near normal to slightly above normal."
"There's been some pretty heavy snows that have occurred across Minnesota and into western Wisconsin the past week or two," Haase said. "They've had a couple of heavy snow amounts where some areas had over a foot, so that has increased the potential for snowmelt as we get into March and early April."
In Davenport, the chance of the Mississippi River hitting a flooding stage is now 69 percent, which is slightly higher than normal. The chance that it will reach a moderate or major flooding stage is nearly normal.
However, Haase doesn’t expect much precipitation in the near future.
"Next week, we actually start warming up into the 40s and even some lower 50s, and most of next week actually looks dry, so that'll help."
There are two factors that can change this outlook: how fast the snow melts and whether or not we get heavy spring rain.
What Flooding Can Mean to Farmers:
Back in 2019, flooding caused hundreds of livestock to drown or be stranded and turned fields into lakes-making them unplantable.
Flooding can even hurt the crops that you have already planted. When crops are exposed to flooding, you are potentially exposing them to sewage, chemicals, heavy metals, pathogenic microorganisms, or other contaminants.
If the edible crops are exposed to floodwater, it is considered contaminated and can not enter food channels.