NOAA: Increased risk of major flooding on the Mississippi River this spring

Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 12:25 PM CST
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QUAD CITIES, Iowa/Ill. (KWQC) - The National Weather Service has released its third and final Spring Flood Outlook ahead of the 2023 spring season, and it’s not good news for those living or working along the Mississippi River.

There is a ‘well above normal’ risk of flooding along the Mississippi River from Dubuque, through the Quad Cities, down to Burlington.

There is a ‘near to slightly above normal’ risk of flooding along some of the tributaries, including the Rock River and Wapsipinicon River.

Recent heavy snowfall over the upper Mississippi River basin has added to the increased potential of flooding. As of March 10, there has been five to six feet of snow that has fallen for the season near and north of the Twin Cities.

Water content within the snow is running above average as well. The rate at how quickly that snowfall melts, and any additional rain or snow over the next several weeks will dictate the severity of the flooding.

The spring rains need to be watched locally, as well.

Historically, the Mississippi River generally has a 25% risk of major flooding. This year, hydrologists have that risk at 82% of major flooding. Major flood stage on the Mississippi River at Rock Island’s Lock and Dam 15 is 18 feet.

Minor flood stage is 15 feet, and moderate flood stage is 16 feet. There are a greater than 95% chance of that happening this spring.

To stay up-to-date with the latest river levels, bookmark this page on our website.

To read the entire flood outlook, including probabilities of flooding on other local rivers, click here.