Repeat of last year's flooding unlikely

Mar 16, 2012

Missouri experienced record flooding last year along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. But this year, experts say water levels are likely to return to normal.                

There is almost no chance Missouri will experience the severe flooding this year that occurred last year, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“Barring no heavy rainfalls, we’re looking really good going into spring,” said Jud Kneuvean, chief of the Corps’ emergency management branch in Kansas City.

Flooding in northwest and southeast Missouri last year was some of the worst in the state’s history, caused by record rainfall in May and unusually large amounts of snow in states north of Missouri. This winter, though, has been unusually dry, and no unusual rainfall is expected for the spring. 

“The Mississippi itself has a slightly below normal, or below average, chance for flooding,” said hydrologist Kevin Low, with the Missouri River Basin Forecast Center. “The Missouri River probably has about an average chance of flooding.”

Last year, farmer Robert Alpers had to pump water out of his fields in Prairie Home, Mo., for 45 days straight. He said he’s still making repairs to the damage caused by the flooding, but is feeling more prepared this year.

“We spent the winter shoring up and trying to make everything better, and I think we’re as ready as we can be if we do have another major event.”

Kneuvean said the Corps of Engineers is still working on repairing all of the levees damaged by the floods last year, and hopes to have most of the damage repaired by May.