Published: May 3,2017
After flooding smashed records that had stood for over 100 years, more rain will fall in the Ozarks and mid-Mississippi Valley, bringing a threat of additional flash flooding and adding to already swollen rivers and reservoirs.
(LATEST NEWS: Flooding Turns Deadly and Hundreds of Roads Are Closed)
As of late Wednesday evening, areas of showers and thunderstorms stretched from portions of northern Arkansas and Missouri into Illinois and Indiana.
Current Flood Alerts
Fortunately, the frontal system won't move nearly as slow, and moisture in place won't be nearly as high as we saw this past weekend.
However, a roughly west-to-east axis of heavy rainfall is expected into early Thursday over much of the flood-ravaged region.
Additional rainfall in excess of 3 inches is possible from parts of Missouri through southern Illinois and Indiana into northwestern Ohio.
Rainfall Forecast Through Thursday
This rain will either slow the fall of recently-crested rivers, or add to the future crest of downstream, larger rivers.
River Flood StatusAlready, record flooding has been observed in 14 locations. Some locations in southern Missouri shattered record crests that had stood for over 100 years.
- Illinois River near Watts, Oklahoma (previous record: Dec. 28, 2015)
- Big Piney at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri (previous record: March 19, 2008)
- Black River at Pocahontas, Arkansas (previous record: April 28, 2011)
- Current River at Doniphan, Missouri (previous record: March 1, 1904)
- Current River at Van Buren, Missouri (previous record: March 26, 1904)
- Gasconade River near Hazelgreen, Missouri (previous record: March 19, 2008)
- Gasconade River at Jerome, Missouri (previous record: Dec. 30, 2015)
- Gasconade River near Rich Fountain, Missouri (previous record: Dec. 30, 2015)
- Jacks Fork at Eminence, Missouri (previous record: Nov. 15, 1993)
- Meramec River near Steelville, Missouri (previous record: July 27, 1998)
- Meramec River near Sullivan, Missouri (previous record: Aug. 1, 1915)
- Meramec River near Eureka, Missouri (previous record: Dec. 30, 2015)
- North Fork White River near Tecumseh, Missouri (previous record: Aug. 1, 1915)
- St. Francis River at Patterson, Missouri (previous record: Dec. 3, 1982)
Monday, the Current River reached an unprecedented 15 feet above the level at which "water begins to flood homes" in Doniphan, Missouri, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
Upstream, a historic crest 8.2 feet above the previous record from 1904 occurred April 30 in Van Buren, Missouri.
On Wednesday morning, levee breaches were confirmed along the Black River, resulting in potentially life-threatening flash flooding on the east side of Pocahontas, Arkansas, as the National Weather Service warned on Tuesday.
The river crested just above its previous record from April 2011 Tuesday night and is forecast to remain high through late week before slowly falling.
Other record or near-record flood crests are possible this week in the following locations:
- Big Muddy River at Murphysboro, Illinois
- Mississippi River at Thebes, Illinois
- Mississippi River at Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Along the Meramec River, sections of Interstate 44 have been shut down due to floodwaters, similar to the December 2015 flood event. A section of Interstate 55 has also closed and along with other route closures, the result is that anyone who needs to travel through St. Louis will need to find another route.
The Meramec River in Valley Park, Missouri, crested Wednesday morning just below its record set in the December 2015 flood event.
Mississippi River levels at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, may approach the early January 2016 flood of record, there.
Flooding RecapNumerous flash flood emergencies were issued across southern Missouri and northern Arkansas April 29 and April 30. Some locations saw as much as 11 inches of rainfall.
Here were some of the flood reports received on April 30:
- Doniphan, Missouri: Bridge over the Current River on the west side of Doniphan has been shut down due to river flooding
- Hazelgreen, Missouri: Interstate 44 has been closed in both directions due to flooding (located between St. Louis and Springfield)
- Hickman County, Kentucky: Water rescue reported
- Jonesboro, Arkansas: Emergency evacuations by boat prompted
- Near Pangburn, Arkansas: Water in some residences
- Lonoke County, Arkansas: Numerous roads flooded in the county; travel discouraged
- Broughton, Illinois: Flood waters have isolated the town
- Pulaski County, Missouri: One man drowned after his vehicle entered a flooded road
Total flooding reports received in a 24-hour period ending 6 a.m. CDT, Sunday, April 30, 2017.For a few hours Saturday evening, West Plains, Missouri, was cut off from the rest of Missouri as flood waters covered every road in and out of town. Power was cut off due to the flood waters.
(Data: National Weather Service)
(Data: National Weather Service)
At least one mudslide was reported. A mudslide occurred in Peoria, Illinois, on Highway 29 north of Mcclugage Bridge.
Several areas in Evansville, Indiana, were reported to be under water, where 4.37 inches of rain had fallen from Friday into Saturday morning. The downtown area of Reeds Spring, Missouri, was evacuated early Saturday morning as the water was up to a foot deep. Water rescues were also reported in multiple locations in southern Missouri and southern Illinois Saturday morning, including in the Joplin and Branson areas.
Elsewhere, roadway flooding was reported from Missouri to Ohio Friday night into Saturday morning, including stalled and stranded vehicles. Up to 3 feet of water was covering some roads in Glendale, Ohio, Saturday morning.
Radar estimates over 11 inches have occurred in southwestern Missouri and northern Arkansas.
Here are some peak rainfall totals in each state from midday on April 28 through early morning on May 1:
- Arkansas: 10.54 inches in near Rogers
- Illinois: 7.95 inches in Owensville
- Indiana: 9.23 inches in Huntingburg
- Kentucky: 5.54 inches in La Grange
- Louisiana: 10 inches in Bunkie
- Missouri: 11.15 inches near Houston
- Oklahoma: 8.50 inches near Savoy
48-hour estimated rainfall ending 6 a.m. CDT, Sunday April 30, 2017.This flood event was preceded by heavy rain on April 26, as a slow-moving line of thunderstorms triggered flash flooding in parts of the Ozarks.
At least one water rescue occurred in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on Wednesday, and a handful of roads in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri were shut down due to flooding.
(MORE: Storm Damage, Impacts)
Prior that, much of a swath from Oklahoma and southeast Kansas into the Carolinas and Virginia was soaked one or more times since the middle of the previous week.
Some of these areas picked up over 6 inches of rain in that seven-day period ending the morning of April 26, well above what would be considered average for a late-April week.
(MORE: The Most Extreme Rainfall in All 50 States)
Departure from average precipitation for the 7-day period ending April 26, 2017 at 7 a.m. CDT. The wettest areas are shown by the blue and purple contours. Drier areas are shown in yellow contours.
Don't Underestimate the Danger
View of damage in the Albert Pike Recreation Area in Montgomery County, Arkansas, following the deadly June 2010 flash flood.Flash flooding may not capture your attention like severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, but it can be just as dangerous.
(NWS-Little Rock, Arkansas)
(NWS-Little Rock, Arkansas)
In June 2010, 20 campers were killed during an overnight flash flood in the Albert Pike Recreation Area of Montgomery County, Arkansas.
In recent years, flash flooding has been the deadliest storm-related weather phenomenon in the U.S.: 176 deaths in 2015 and 126 in 2016, according to NOAA.
(MORE: Over 300 Killed in Flooding Since 2015)
Attempting to drive through floodwater accounts for roughly two-thirds of all U.S. flood fatalities. Never drive through flood waters.
It takes only 1 foot of water to float a vehicle. Once that happens, the vehicle can be quickly swept away.
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