Very heavy rainfall has fallen across much of the Central and Southern Plains as well as the South this Holiday Weekend. Widespread rainfall totals of 3 to 6 inches (areas in the yellows and oranges in the graphic above) of rain was common with areas of 8 to 12+ inches (areas in the red) of rain.
Widespread River Flooding
This has resulted in widespread flooding in the Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and Mississippi River Basins as well as many smaller rivers that flow south into the Gulf of Mexico or east into the Atlantic Ocean.
The graphic below highlights areas of Minor flooding (orange), Moderate flooding (red) and Major (purple).
Several smaller river basins have already seen record flood levels. They include the Illinois River at Watts, OK where the previous record was set in 2011 as well as the Illinois near River Tahlequah, OK. For Tahlequah, the provisional crest level shattered the previous record set in 1950 by 2.8 ft.
While some additional precipitation is expected in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River Valley through Wednesday, the additional amounts of 0.1 to ~ 0.5 inches of precipitation will not significantly impact the river forecasts, especially the Mississippi River.
Current forecasts are indicating near record to record crests for several locations downstream of St Louis but upstream of where the Ohio River enters the Mississippi River. These locations include Mississippi River at Chester, IL and the Mississippi River at Cape Girardeau, MO. For both locations the flood of record was set during the historic 1993 floods. So the impacts of record flooding would be devastating to these areas.
If you live near a river that is in flood stage be mindful for rising river levels. If you are able to remove furniture, carpets or other items to a higher location do so. At a minimum try to elevate by removing items from your basement and even your first floor to a second floor. Listen to guidance for local emergency management and law enforcement, if you are instructed to evacuate respond immediately.
If you travel through areas that may be flooded by areal, flash or river flooding, consider taking an alternate route. Remember never drive into a flooded roadway.
The team at WxIntegrations will continue to provide relevant information and resources to help you better understand and prepare by incorporating weather impacts into your planning and response.