Mud and flood season

Shelbie Rudiger, Magazine writer

Spring in the United States Midwest is known as the mud and flood season. This upcoming spring, forecasters are worried about the high risk of flooding from rapid snowmelt.  

Majority of the risk rests alongside the Mississippi River barren. Many states are experiencing their top snowiest seasons to come. 

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Minneapolis, Minnesota experienced their eighth snowiest season on record. Duluth, Minnesota had their sixth snowiest season. Bismarck, North Dakota and Grand Rapids, Michigan had their top third season.  

Minneapolis accumulated about 81 inches of snow this winter when its average snowfall only reaches about 51 inches. This immense amount of snow will have to melt eventually, which is exactly why forecasters are worried.  

“The snow water equivalent in the snowpack that’s still on the ground is in the top 10 or 20 percent compared to historic years, so there’s really just quite a lot of snow water out there,” said Masha Hoy, hydrologist of the North Central River Forecast Center. 

Temperatures across the Midwest did manage to get above freezing during daylight hours, but the lows returned below freezing as the sun went down resulting in very little snow melt.  

“If we were to receive consistency of warm, high temperatures right around our normal highs or where they are at right now – with low temperatures above 32 degrees consistently, that is where we would see a much more rapid snowmelt, and then increase that flooding potential,” said Ryan Dunleavy, meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Twin Cities.  

Cities like Davenport, Iowa could be at risk of spring flooding. These parts of the Midwest at risk are almost all used to this time of year and the possibility of flooding. It has become the harsh reality of living alongside the Mississippi River.  

“This is a conversation that a lot of people are used to having you know, especially some of our old timers have been dealing with this a long time and they get it. We have people that live along the river and when the flood comes, they boat in and out,” said Davenport Mayor, Mike Matson.  

Last fall parts of the Mississippi River were at record low levels and very soon parts of the river could result in overflowing banks.  

Spring flooding is nothing new to civilians in the Midwest and based on forecasters predictions it won’t be leaving or deescalating years down the road.