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US spring flooding underway: expected to worsen through April

With spring flooding already underway over portions of the US, NOAA forecasters are warning the worst is yet to come.

Almost half the country – from the North Central US through the Midwest and the Northeast – has an above-average risk of flooding over the next few weeks, according to the annual spring outlook released this week by NOAA’s National Weather Service.

The highest spring flood risk areas include the Red River of the North, which forms the state line between eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota, the Milk River in eastern Montana, the James and Big Sioux Rivers in South Dakota, the Minnesota River, the upper Mississippi River basin from Minneapolis southward to St. Louis, and a portion of lower New York, eastern Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey. Many metropolitan areas have a greater than 95 percent chance of major flooding, including Fargo, Grand Forks, St. Paul, Davenport, Rock Island, Sioux Falls and Huron. Devils Lake in North Dakota has an 80 percent chance of reaching two feet above last year’s record of 1452.1 feet.

“For the third consecutive year, the stage is set for potential widespread, record flooding in the North Central United States,” said Jack Hayes, Ph.D., director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “We’ve been coordinating with federal and state partners and high risk communities since December to raise awareness and help them prepare. All the ingredients are in place for major flooding so this situation should be taken very seriously.”

•Date: 18th March 2011 • Region: US •Type: Article •Topic: DR general

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