WIUM Local
7:40 pm
Mon February 22, 2010

Major Flooding Possible This Spring

The Tri States – The National Weather Service is projecting a "high probability" of spring flooding along parts of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers and their tributaries.

Hydrologist Mark Fuchs says several factors could lead to moderate or even major flooding in parts of Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri along the Mississippi. Those factors include significant winter snow in northern states, and heavy rain last fall in parts of the tri states.

That water became trapped in the soil when the ground froze. Once the ground thaws as the weather warms, significant runoff could cause rivers to rise.

Hydrologist Darrin Hansing says the Illinois River is no different. He says the probability of springtime flooding is up 10%-to-20%.

"We are looking at an increased possibility of flooding along the Illinois primarily because the soil is real moist. We have had a snow pack but we've had some rains in central Illinois so that's kinds of contributing to a lot of run off at this time," says Hansing.

Hansing blames the brief warm up in mid-January and rainy weather last year for the rising water levels. He says snowmelt never absorbed into the soil before it refroze.

Hansing says flooding along the Illinois River is not out of the ordinary and points out areas along the river have already experienced some minor flooding since late last year.

Thanks to Illinois Public Radio and the Illinois Associated Press