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Forecasters examine variables of rising Missouri River

17 March 2019

Despite Saturday's stagnant levels near St. Joseph, the National Weather Service still expects the Missouri River to rise again, with a forecast crest of 29.3 feet on Thursday morning.

The Grand River Conservation Authority is issuing the following combined Flood Warning/Flood Watch message, which replaces Flood Message #3.

The NWS reckons there is a 10 percent chance that the river crests at least 38 feet, above the highest ever recorded by the Army Corps of Engineers in July of 1993. The flooding was the worst in almost a decade in places, though the situation was expected to improve quickly over the weekend, according to Mike Gillispie, National Weather Service hydrologist in Sioux Falls.

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Leaders monitoring the incident say that some levees are deteriorating and that some may be breached soon.

The swollen Missouri threatened a nuclear power plant in southeastern Nebraska.

Along with the Perry area, locations where flooding is possible include West Des Moines, Urbandale, Clive, Waukee, Grimes, Adel, Guthrie Center, Stuart, Dallas Center, Earlham, Granger, Panora, De Soto, Woodward, Van Meter, Jordan Creek town Center, Lake Panorama, Redfield and Adair.

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Farther east, the Mississippi River saw moderate flooding in IL from Rock Island south to Gladstone.

On Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard shut down all traffic on the Missouri River from about 50 miles south of Omaha, downstream to St. Joseph, Missouri, a stretch of about 70 miles. "Residents are urged to move to higher ground now".

While Gavins Point is releasing water this spring, Watson said the source of this week's flooding is coming below the dam.

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The GRCA said there is the potential for ice jams in Grand Valley, New Hamburg, West Montrose, Brantford, Six Nations Territory, Cayuga and Port Maitland. They could be tested this year. The alert triggered initial precautions, and if the river reaches 45 feet the plant will be taken offline. "Things are going to be improving quickly over the next couple of days", said Mike Gillispie, National Weather Service hydrologist in Sioux Falls. Homes were reported damaged, while power was knocked out to thousands. Updated flood messages will be issued as conditions develop and better forecast information becomes available. Don't drive through flooded roads.

Forecasters examine variables of rising Missouri River