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Rock River faces ‘elevated risk’ for spring flooding

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Thursday, the National Weather Service issued its first Spring Flood Outlook for 2014. The report includes an elevated risk for flooding on the Rock River, but hydrologists say the Mississippi River's flood risk remains near normal.

From Dubuque, Iowa, to Gregory Landing, Missouri, the spring flood risk for the Mississippi River is near normal to slightly elevated. Flood potential for tributary rivers across eastern Iowa is near to slightly below normal.

Hydrologists told News Eight that while the area has seen record snowfall this winter, the actual water content of that snow has not been above normal.

"Most of the snows we've had this year have been when we had really cold temperatures, so the snow has tended to be drier," said Maren Stoflet, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service of the Quad Cities.

The report, though, does include an elevated risk for spring flooding on the Rock River and Pecatonica River in northwest Illinois.

The National Weather Service also highlighted three flooding factors to watch as the spring season approaches:

  • Deep ground frost that could cause snowmelt and rainfall to runoff quickly
  • Future snowfall and rainfall
  • The potential for ice jam flooding as rivers begin to break up

The second Spring Flood Outlook will be issued on March 6, 2014.

You can find at the entire Spring Flood Outlook at this link.