Warmer temps, ice jams causing flooding concerns along Mississippi River

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We're expected to get some warmer temperatures in the Twin Cities this weekend, and that's causing some flooding concerns.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is keeping a close eye on the Mississippi River as ice jams between Winona and the Iowa border could lead to flooding.

State hydrologists said the river is running at sustained levels they've never seen in January, and that's got them watching for what it could mean this spring.

In Coon Rapids two weeks ago, an ice jam caused the river to overflow its banks, flooding a parking lot and then freezing vehicles in.

"It's really a novel situation this year and it's causing novel problems," said Dan Fasching, a state hydrologist.

Last year, a record amount of moisture fell, saturating soils and leading to a record 77-million-acre-feet flowing out of Minnesota. Fasching said that's enough water to fill Lake Mille Lacs about 28 times.

Right now, Fasching said the river is flowing like it's late spring, and depending on temperatures and ice melt there could be more high water in the weeks and months ahead.

"Am I concerned? We are gearing up for flood season and that should have everyone's attention going forward," he said.

With that in mind, planning and community discussions are also ramping up as officials work to ensure they're ready. You can see more information from the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service here.