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Flooding potential remains concern

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West Central Tribune
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Flooding potential remains concern
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

MONTEVIDEO -- A newly updated flood forecast for the Upper Minnesota River warns that the probability for flooding remains high in Montevideo.

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Fortunately, the updated forecast released Friday does not increase the likelihood for seeing flood levels as experienced in 1997 or 2001.

The National Weather Service is forecasting an 81 percent probability waters will rise four feet above flood stage in Montevideo, which would represent a moderate to major flood level. It calculates the probability for reaching levels experienced in 1997 at three percent.

The projections for flood stages in Granite Falls are lower, with an 85 percent probability for moderate level flooding. The numbers do not tell the whole story, cautions Diane Cooper with the National Weather Service. They are based on expectations that a portion of the flood stage waters will follow a natural bypass channel on the city's south side.

That lowers the flood stage in the downtown area, but flooding problems on the south side of the community increase as a result, she noted.

Overall, she said the updated flood projection is very much the same as one week earlier. While day time temperatures are making it above the freezing mark, night time temperatures continue to drop well below. Consequently the snowpack is not really disappearing and a much larger-than-normal water volume remains on the landscape.

A weather front could bring one-fourth inch of precipitation to the area this weekend. The water is likely to be absorbed by the snowpack like a sponge, she noted.

Those living along all waterways in the region should be alert to the danger of flooding. The National Weather Service advises that the warming weather brings with it an increasing risk for ice jams and localized flooding.

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Tom Cherveny
Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
(320) 214-4335
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