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River flooding expected to linger

Mississippi River in Clinton, Iowa. Photo by Dustin Hoffmann

Record flooding continues on the Mississippi River as the Army Corps of Engineers also warns Missouri River Runoff will remain at near record levels. Navigational passage was closed along parts of the Mississippi River over the weekend around St. Louis with flooding expecting to continue. The U.S. Coast Guard says restrictions to operations will be lifted as soon as conditions improve.

The National Weather Service says current national weather patterns are the same “seen in most of the significant flooding events in the Mississippi Valley over the past 120 years.” NWS model guidance suggests the pattern will continue through at least the middle of May and will produce areas of very heavy rains across the Mississippi watershed. Meanwhile, above-average runoff continues in the upper Missouri River basin.

April runoff in the upper basin, the Missouri River above Sioux City, Iowa, was 7.8 million-acre feet, the third highest April runoff recorded. The Corps announced Monday that releases from all Missouri River reservoirs will be above average for the next several months, and possibly as late as November.