AP NEWS

Forecasters say spring could bring unprecedented US flooding

March 21, 2019
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This March 11, 2019 photo shows a makeshift levee built by a resident in Rolling Fork, Miss., to protect his home from flood waters. In March 2019, scientists are warning that historic flooding could soon deluge parts of several southern states along the lower Mississippi River, where flood waters could persist for several weeks. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the spring flood threat in the U.S. (all times local):

12:05 p.m.

U.S. weather experts say the stage is set for unprecedented major flooding this spring for most of the nation.

In Thursday’s spring forecast, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says more than 200 million Americans are at risk for some kind of flooding, with 13 million of them at risk of major inundation.

National Weather Service deputy director Mary Erickson said the current flooding in Nebraska, Iowa, and the South is a preview for an all-too wet and dangerous spring. She expects flooding to get worse and widespread, reaching most of the eastern two-thirds of the nation.

Forecasters say the biggest risks include all three Mississippi River basins, plus the basins of the Red River of the North, the Great Lakes, the eastern Missouri River, the lower Ohio River, the lower Cumberland River and the Tennessee River.

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11:25 a.m.

Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say flooding could reach unprecedented levels in parts of the U.S. later this spring, as winter snow melts and swollen rivers rise.

Mary Erickson, deputy director of the National Weather Service, said during a conference call Thursday that existing flooding along the Mississippi River and other waterways is expected to get worse, possibly even worse than historic floods in 1993 and 2011.

NOAA said in an advisory that the threat of flooding in Southern states this spring is “potentially historic.”

Forecasters have said that rapidly melting snow in the upper Midwest is contributing to flooding that will eventually make its way downstream to the Gulf Coast.

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1 a.m.

Scientists are warning that historic flooding could soon deluge parts of several Southern states along the lower Mississippi River, where floodwaters could persist for several weeks.

The flood threat in the South will be discussed Thursday, when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration releases its 2019 spring outlook. Experts plan a briefing on their flood forecast at the National Water Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Thursday’s report is aimed at helping emergency managers and other safety officials to prepare for flooding.

NOAA said in an advisory that the threat of flooding in Southern states this spring is “potentially historic.”

Forecasters have said that rapidly melting snow in the upper Midwest is contributing to flooding that will eventually make its way downstream to the Gulf Coast.