OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Rainfall in the coming days could raise water levels in the Mississippi River higher than expected and lead to more flooding, the National Weather Service at St. Louis said Saturday.
At some points, including Davenport, Iowa, the past week’s levels were the highest ever. Davenport saw a large part of its riverfront and downtown flooded when a section of a temporary flood barrier broke after it had held back the swollen river for 38 days.
The river began dropping Friday at Davenport after eclipsing a record set in 1993. Officials said it could be days before the water is once again confined within the river’s banks.
The good news is that no significant rain is expected in the region over the weekend. The bad news is that rain and thunderstorms will come roaring back in starting Monday night, said meteorologist Mark Fuchs at St. Louis.
Starting Monday night, up to a couple of inches of rain could fall on Kansas, Missouri and Iowa and soon reach Illinois, Fuchs said.
“Tuesday evening through Thursday evening, we could be seeing quite a bit of rain — several inches,” he said. “It will have an impact.”
The Mississippi crested a few feet shy of 1993 levels at several other places in Iowa, Missouri and Illinois. Crests further to the south in towns like Cape Girardeau, Missouri, aren’t expected until the middle of next week.
If rain amounts stay on the low end of the prediction models, it will cause the swollen river to linger at current elevated levels. At worst, the service said, additional rain will push river levels back up, leading to more flooding.
A flood warning continues for areas on either side of the river from Minnesota all the way to Louisiana, where the river empties into the Gulf of Mexico.