Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Flooding in the Midwest is increasing as hot weather continues

By meerna Jun25,2024
Flooding in the Midwest is increasing as hot weather continues

Flooding that hit parts of Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota last weekend is forecast to worsen on Monday and Tuesday as river levels rise, and meteorologists warn that any additional rain from possible storms could increase or increase the risk of flooding.

The floods are the result of heavy rains that have fallen since Thursday in the upper Mississippi River basin, dumping rainfall totals of 10 to 18 inches, said Todd Heitkamp, ​​meteorologist in charge of Sioux Falls, S.D., for the National Weather Service. , forecast office. Soils were already saturated from months of wetter conditions before storms fueled by intense moisture from the Gulf of Mexico lingered over the region Thursday through Saturday.

That caused water to flow into streams and rivers and, in some areas, into overwhelming levees, Heitkamp said. Forecasters expect rivers to experience moderate to record flooding on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Stream flows are “well above normal… suggesting that while soils are still wet, their capacity to store additional rainfall is limited,” forecasters wrote Monday. “Each additional round of rainfall will further increase flood potential.”

At the same time, the intense heat that has gripped the country over the past week is expected to scorch the region as rising sea levels are dealt with. Temperatures in the Upper Midwest were forecast to peak in the 90s, and high humidity will keep temperatures near 110 degrees on Monday. The weather service warned that conditions would be “unpleasant or hazardous” for people spending time outdoors.

A heat advisory covered the entire Mississippi River Basin on Monday, from Minnesota and South Dakota to the Gulf Coast.

Authorities in Minnesota watched closely on Monday as rising Blue Earth River levels, not expected to peak until Tuesday, washed out part of the Rapidan Dam near the city of Mankato, 50 miles southwest of Minneapolis. Officials say the integrity of the dam is intact and being monitored, but the city of North Mankato was building a temporary levee to protect itself in the event of a dam failure. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) called it a “serious situation.”

Flood damage was already extensive and included a collapsed railroad bridge connecting South Dakota and Iowa.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) said the waters damaged or destroyed more than 1,900 homes in at least 22 counties in the state. After an airborne toll on Saturday, Reynolds said “destruction is widespread.” She said river levels have risen above records set during the Great Flood of 1993, which hit nine states, killed 50 people and caused $15 billion in damage.

At least one death has been linked to flooding in South Dakota, Gov. Kristi L. Noem (R) said Sunday. She did not provide details.

The surge of floodwaters destroyed an unknown number of homes in North Sioux City, SD, in about 30 minutes, the Argus Leader reported.

Sioux Falls, S.D., Mayor Paul TenHaken earlier urged residents to conserve water as flooding put an unprecedented strain on the city’s sewer system, forcing authorities to release some untreated sewage into the Big Sioux River, according to the newspaper.

“Our wastewater collection and treatment systems remain under strain, but we believe they are back to a point where it is manageable,” Mark Cotter, Sioux Falls public works director, said in a statement.

Flooding caused widespread road closures throughout the region, including a short-term closure of part of Interstate 29.

Thursday and Friday were the wettest two-day periods on record for two South Dakota communities, Mitchell and Sioux Falls, with 7.7 inches and 6.49 inches of rainfall recorded in 48 hours, the Weather Service said.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as of Monday, rivers in the upper Mississippi Valley region were in major flood stage: the James, Vermillion and Big Sioux rivers in South Dakota, and the Des Moines and Little Sioux rivers in southwestern Minnesota and northwestern Iowa. data.

The weather service warned that flood warnings were in effect “until further notice” in those areas.

Meteorologists say isolated thunderstorms are possible Tuesday afternoon, with the best chance of significant precipitation expected Thursday night into Friday.

“If we get additional rainfall, it will be a punch in the gut,” Heitkamp said.

By meerna

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