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Reduced snow pack helps, but flood threat remains on Minnesota River

In its third flood advisory of season, National Weather Service warns that an elevated threat of flooding continues.

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The National Weather Service on Thursday warned there is an elevated risk for significant spring flooding in the Minnesota River basin. There is a nearly 80 percent probability that the Minnesota River could reach major flood stage, including in Montevideo. This file photo from April 7, 2011, shows waters over a roadway between Granite Falls and Montevideo. Tribune file photo

MONTEVIDEO — A reduced snow pack in February is helping, but the National Weather Service continues to warn that there is an elevated threat of significant flooding this spring.

In the season’s third spring flood outlook issued on Thursday, the Weather Service said that flood factors have changed “only very slightly.” “Current conditions suggest spring flooding will be more likely than in a typical year throughout the Upper Midwest, but significant flooding is less certain.”

A lack of new snow in February has helped: The snow water equivalent in the region is close to normal for late February, according to the Weather Service. That is significantly less than last year at this time, when the snowfall in February was above average.

Still, conditions are “primed” for significant runoff, the Weather Services advises. Soils remain saturated and river levels are high. Rainfall at the wrong time would increase the risk of major spring flooding.

The Weather Service continues to warn that Montevideo has nearly an 80 percent chance of reaching major flood stage this spring, which is well above the 17 percent historical average of reaching that level.

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Related Topics: MONTEVIDEO
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