Dry stretch diminishes local flood risk

   A long stretch of dry weather both locally and in the Mississippi River flood basin has significantly reduced the chances of severe flooding in and around eastern Clayton County.

   As of Wednesday (April 3) at 9:45 a.m., the river stood at 21.1 feet at the gauge in McGregor, which is in the “moderate” level of flooding on the National Weather Service scale. The river rose from the minor to the moderate flooding category over the weekend and will continue to rise through the week before cresting at an estimated 21.3 feet Wednesday, just below major flood stage. Major flood stage in McGregor is 22 feet.

   The predicted crest would be the sixth-highest on record in McGregor and would cause some issues. Lowland flooding is already occurring in the area and pumping operations in both McGregor and Marquette have been underway for more than a week. A 22-foot crest (higher than predicted) would cause the railroad to close its tracks near the casino. Workers and volunteers from both communities have filled approximately 8,000 sandbags that are being deployed needed.

   Earlier crest forecasts gave a high probability of more significant flooding in the area. The first National Weather Service flood outlook, gave a more than 90 percent chance of the flood level reaching 19 feet, a 50 percent chance of reaching 22.7 feet, and between a 10 and 25 percent chance of topping the record 25.38-foot flood of 1965.

 

For more, see the April 3 Outlook.