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Snow melts, rivers rise

Run-off from melting snow and from rainfall are causing rivers and streams to rise across the region.

Smaller creeks and streams in northern Iowa are already at their banks or overflowing, creating some localized overland flooding.

Still, local creeks have a ways to go before flooding.

According to the National Weather Service in La Crosse, Wis., Turtle Creek in Austin was at 3.18 feet this morning. Flood stage for the creek is 10.5 feet. The weather service predicts that the creek will reach 8.10 feet Saturday, which is still below flood stage.

A flood warning is in effect for portions of Iowa's Turkey River. Other rivers that could experience flooding include the Trempealeau, Kickapoo, Upper Iowa and the Cedar (in Iowa).


No other rivers or streams in southeastern Minnesota have been listed in the weather service's hydrological statement.

If actual precipitation is greater than predicted, the weather service says rivers may respond differently.

People who live near rivers or low lying areas should continue to follow weather reports.

Low pressure will bring more periods of rain through the weekend.

Temperatures in the Austin area could reach 49 degrees today, meaning more snow will be melting.

Daytime temperatures will remain the the 40s, and there's a chance of rain through Sunday.

Next week looks to be a little dryer. Monday will be mostly sunny with a high near 50 degrees.

In its most recent flood forecast, the weather service said the region has a normal to a slightly better than normal chance of flooding this spring.


The best-case scenario would include temperatures in the 30s to 40s in the day and below-freezing at night to slowly melt off snow without much of a rise in rivers.

It could be much worse: "Any rapid warm-up and/or significant rainfall will bring a higher flood potential. The later we go into the spring with a significant snowpack, the more threat there is for a rapid warm-up to maximize snow-melt runoff."

In this region, the service said, the Cedar River basin has the highest potential as of late February for flooding, while the Root, Zumbro and Mississippi have lower chances.

For updates, visit the National Weather Service at www.crh.noaa.gov/arx.

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