Bowling Green Times

Follow Us On:

Official: Repeat of ‘93 floods unlikely in ‘18

Posted on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at 4:02 pm

National Weather Service Says Minor Flooding Is Likely in Pike County

By Ethan Colbert
bgted@lcs.net

Pike County Emergency Management Director Al Murry said Monday that he does not believe that Pike County will see significant spring floods this year.
“I went to a floodplain meeting with members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and with the National Weather Service and they both said that we have an average chance for an average spring,” Murry said. The longtime emergency management director said that in laymen’s terms, it is very unlikely that the county will see a repeat of the Great Flood of 1993 this spring.
“Everything that I have been told is that there have not been any indications of a big flood this year,” Murry said. “Every year we have some minor flooding, but I don’t think we are looking at floods like we had in 1993, 2008, or anything close to it.”
National Weather Service Hydrologist Mark Fuchs agreed with Murry’s assessment. According to the statewide flooding expert, the “possibilities for major flooding are quite small” in the Pike County area, standing at about 11 percent, which is just slightly above the historical average of 9 percent.
According to Murry, the biggest indicators for potential flooding in Pike County are snow accumulation in Minnesota, Iowa and South Dakota.
“The only thing that really bothers us is the states to our north,” Murry said in an interview with the Bowling Green Times. “Those states have had average winters and they have received a lot of snow. The thing that will hurt us is how quickly does it warm up and melt that snow.”
According to Murry, if the snow melts at a gradual pace then there will likely be little impact to no on the water levels in Pike County’s riverside communities. However, should the snow melt quickly than water levels near Louisiana, Clarksville, and Annada could reach a worrisome level.
“If you are going to watch predictions for Louisiana, then I wouldn’t really be worried about flooding until you start to see numbers over 20 feet over flood stage,” Murry said Monday.
In a published news release, Fuchs said that the flooding outlook for Pike County could change in the coming weeks if heavy rains should persist for an extended period of time across the upper Mississippi River Valley.
The National Weather Service’s long-range forecast for the month of March shows a fairly good risk of above-average precipitation for the entire state of Minnesota and above-average level of precipitation for Missouri and Illinois, according to Fuchs.

In this Bowling Green Times file photo from July 1993, Clarksville residents Elizabeth Colbert, Mrs. Claude Canter and Myrtle Decker watch as the flood waters edge nearer to their homes within the Swetman Apartment Complex on Front Street. A sandbag levy across the sidewalk is all that separates the apartment building from the Mississippi River.