U.S. and state officials from the Midwest are making preparations for possible floods that might happen during the spring along identified areas particularly those that are near the Red Rive and Mississippi River. These are the areas that are of the greatest risks for encountering the floods.
The areas that are affected during the floods are among the top crop producers of the country. The states of Illinois and Iowa are leading exporters of corn and soybeans, while Minnesota and North Dakota are top producers of spring wheat and durum. According to meteorologists, the range of the precipitation that was accumulated throughout the winter is from 125% – 200%. This certain range poses a risk to having major floods in these said areas.
Back in 2008, big floods occurred in the Midwest, where it happened fast because of the continuous rainfall. This happened from June to July of the said year, where the Mississippi River watershed overflowed, causing floods in the nearby areas where crops are located. For this year, NOAA meteorologist Karin Gleason says that it will be a wait-and-see situation whether there will be floods and how much damage could happen.
For forecasters from the National Weather Service, they are predicting a moderate to major flooding that can happen in the Midwest. According to Diane Cooper who is a hydrologist of the NWS from the Twin Cities office, the main concern is St. Paul since there is a bigger chance of a flood to happen.
For the coming spring, the Red River area is being monitored, with the local authorities employing certain measures to prepare for floods. Sandbags are being placed in the said area which will act as flood barriers, while emergency teams are being organized, as well as the fortification of major levees.
All residents of these said areas should already have flood insurance in place but if not, agencies are strongly suggesting they contact their agent for more information on flood insurance requirements.