Two crests likely for southern Minnesota, meteorologist warnsby Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The National Weather Service's flood outlooks released Friday had little good news for Minnesotans preparing for spring flooding.
NWS meteorologist John Margraf expects the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers to crest over the next week. The Crow River will likely hit its high water mark this weekend.
Margraf predicts moderate to major flooding nearly everywhere this spring.
"But the important thing to note for locations across the southern half of the state is that there will be a second crest likely sometime in April," Margraf said. "The reason for that is that there's still a lot of snow in the upper portions of those river basins that hasn't melted yet."
The height of the second crest depends on how quickly that snow melts and how much precipitation we see over the next few weeks, Margraf said. Either way, he expects high river levels through month of April.
About half the state is under a flood warning. More than 30 communities have declared local states of emergency.
Deputy Director Wade Setter of Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management says his agency will provide support and assistance including sandbags, barriers, pumps, and generators.
"As communities find themselves becoming closer to being impacted, sometimes they need this material on short notice," Setter said.
Setter's worried residents along rivers will get complacent after the first crest.
"We're very concerned they are going to believe it's over and it's not," Setter said. "There's a lot of snow in the northern half of the state that's going to be released. And that'll come down to the lower Mississippi and in the Minnesota River Valley at some point too."
Setter said as the temperatures rise and rivers flow more freely, one of the factors hardest to predict will be how ice jams effect water levels.
- All Things Considered, 03/25/2011, 5:18 p.m.