Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lower Midwest U.S. Braces For Floods

Date:
June 17, 2008
Source:
Washington University in St. Louis
Summary:
Residents of the central and southern Midwest are crossing their fingers, saying their prayers, planning evacuations, and in some cases filling sandbags in preparation for the excessive water ravishing communities in Iowa and Wisconsin. The flood wave is propagating down the Mississippi River towards St. Louis at about the pace of a brisk walk, according one geologist. He says, "This is serious water."

WUSTL geologist Robert Criss warns of "serious water" that could give some areas their second worst flood on record.
Credit: Photo courtesy of NOAA

Residents of the central and southern Midwest are crossing their fingers, saying their prayers, planning evacuations, and in some cases filling sandbags in preparation for the excessive water ravishing communities in Iowa and Wisconsin.

"The flood wave is propagating down the Mississippi River towards St. Louis at about the pace of a brisk walk," said Robert E. Criss, Ph.D., professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. "Some areas north of St. Louis in Missouri and southern Iowa are bracing for the second worst flood in their history. This is serious water."

Criss is a geologist. One of his specialties is hydrogeology. He said that the floodwaters are projected to crest at St. Louis at 38 feet on June 22 or 23, marking the 11th time since the Civil War that St. Louis has reached that flood stage. During the flood of 1993 waters at St. Louis crested at 49.6 feet.

The Missouri River at St. Charles on June 13 was 27.6 feet That's close to three feet above flood stage, and it is still rising.

"The water already is in place," Criss noted. "Projecting it downstream doesn't rely on weather predictions."

Indeed, more precipitation is the wild card.

"More rainfall is only going to make problems worse," Criss said. "If the region gets significantly more precipitation during the week of June 16, it could make a place like Winfield, Mo. surpass even its flood of '93 totals."

Criss said that flood projections, made "remarkably accurately" by the National Weather Service, indicate that Winfield should come within a foot or two of its 1993 totals. Crops in those areas are lost for the year, and it's too late to replant.

Criss said that rainfall in much of the Midwest this year has been inordinately high. In St. Louis, for instance, normal rainfall by the middle of June is 17 inches. But this year it is at 30 inches, roughly 75 percent of the yearly average of 38 inches.

"Our part of the nation, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, is getting all of the country's water," he noted. ""We're surrounded by drought elsewhere. It's very odd."

Criss expects that the St. Louis area will escape the brunt of the flood's damage, but that smaller communities such as Hardin, Ill., less than 60 miles from St. Louis and reporting water damage to low-lying homes already, are more threatened.

"If we have extensive flooding on the lower Missouri, brought about by heavy rainfall, that could change the situation in St. Louis and elsewhere," Criss said. "That all is dependent on the luck of the draw. We're on the cusp of having a very interesting year."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington University in St. Louis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Washington University in St. Louis. "Lower Midwest U.S. Braces For Floods." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080616150751.htm>.
Washington University in St. Louis. (2008, June 17). Lower Midwest U.S. Braces For Floods. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080616150751.htm
Washington University in St. Louis. "Lower Midwest U.S. Braces For Floods." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080616150751.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) Hurricane Gonzalo pounded Bermuda with wind and heavy surf on Friday, bearing down on the tiny British territory as a powerful Category 3 storm that could raise coastal seas as much as 10 feet. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) Researchers believe an extinct kangaroo species weighed 500 pounds or more and couldn't hop. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) Powerful hurricane could hit Bermuda this weekend, and even if it misses it will likely do some damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) One of the largest volcanic eruptions in centuries is occurring on Iceland. The volcano Bardarbunga is producing high levels of sulfur dioxide. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins