Walz, Klobuchar get update on spring flood preparations

March 15, 2019 06:39 PM

Minnesota leaders have been warned to expect significant flooding across the state depending on how quickly the snow melts.

Gov. Tim Walz and Sen. Amy Klobuchar got a briefing Friday from state and federal emergency managers who are gearing up for a flood threat caused by some of the heaviest snow in years. The leaders heard that flood problems at the moment are relatively isolated, but chances are high for major flooding on the state's biggest rivers, including the Red, Minnesota, Mississippi and St. Croix.


Dan Luna of the National Weather Service told them the magnitude of the flooding will depend on how fast it warms up and how much it rains or snows. He's hoping for a "perfect" snow melt.

"A perfect melt would be defined by temperatures in the mid-40s during the day, no precipitation at all and temperatures falling back slightly below freezing at night so we slow the meltdown," Luna says. "That would be ideal. If we have a fast melt where temperatures rise well into the 50s quickly and stay into the 50s, stay in the 40s at night or upper 30s...that's a fast melt. Most likely we would see major flooding everywhere along the river system."

Fortunately, he says, there's no significant precipitation in the forecast for the next seven days.

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