Spring flood season is here and due to the above average snowfalls and cold temperatures in the Missouri River basin, several areas are facing extreme risk of flooding.
Atchison County Levee District No. 1 has detailed information about river levels for local rivers, daily and weekly forecasts, current conditions, flood safety tips, and links to learn more about current conditions on their website, acldlevee.com or acldlevee.com/river/. The levee board members are headed to flood fight training school March 12, 2019, at USACE-Omaha District and hope to get some more insight on the flood risk.
According to weather.gov, there is a much-above-normal risk for spring flooding this year, due to the following factors:
• High soil moisture
• Elevated stream flows
• Existing snowpack
Furthermore, there is an increased risk for major flooding this year. Since the last outlook two weeks ago, the flood potential has only increased. This increased threat, the past two weeks, is largely from additional snow and cold air. This has increased the snowpack and only worsened the ice jam potential. Flooding this spring will be largely dependent on the location and intensity of additional precipitation and thunderstorms.
The spring flood risk for the Missouri River from Nebraska City to Rulo is much-above-normal. Along the Missouri River below Gavins Point Dam, river flows are above-normal.
On January 28, 2019, system storage reached 56.1 MAF, the base of the Annual Flood Control and Multiple Use Zone. This means that all stored flood waters from 2018 have been evacuated. The Gavins Point release is 18,000 cfs and will be increased to 26,000 cfs by March 22nd (for release schedule changes please see the USACE website).
The spring flood risk for the Nishnabotna near Hamburg, Iowa, is also much-above-normal. Significant periods of cold weather this winter had led to modest ice growth. With more cold weather on the way, it appears break-up will occur in mid-to-late March.
A flood warning was issued in Atchison County for the Missouri River on Tuesday, March 12.