Historic River Flooding Sweeps the Plains and Midwest!
A wave of heavy rain swept through the Midwest and central Plains with the huge winter storm earlier this week. Temperatures also rose dramatically with the system after months of snow and sub-freezing weather. The combination of rapid snow melt and heavy rain have overwhelmed streams and rivers across the region. Numerous stations are reporting major flooding, some shattering previous record levels.
The map above shows river gauges reporting levels above flood stage with purple indicating major flooding. There are forty-four such stations from the Dakotas all the way to the central Gulf coast. Several rivers have surged to levels never previously recorded, inundating numerous houses and businesses and forcing widespread evacuations. Fifty-three counties in Nebraska alone have declared emergencies and requested federal aid. As with any large-scale river flood event, high waters are affecting tributaries now with flooding likely for the major rivers such as the Mississippi later on. Ice jams are exacerbating the flooding in many areas, demolishing roads and bridges. Below are some tweets showing the terrible toll exacted by the record flooding. Lead photo courtesy flickr contributor Lauri Vain.
— Justin (@JustinCatNE) March 15, 2019
Photos from friends of #Niobrara #Nebraska and some of the damage. Second water surge predicted. Spencer dam gone, Mormon bridge gone, old railroad bridge gone, Vic’s service gone, Neilson’s destroyed, cafe destroyed, State yard buildings gone. And that’s just one town. pic.twitter.com/U6A0KEORPP
— Sarah Kate (@thosewholove) March 15, 2019
— Kade Nelson (@_Kade__Nelson_) March 15, 2019