Above-normal rainfall results in more heavy flooding, planting delays across U.S.

Above-normal rainfall results in more heavy flooding, planting delays across U.S.

Farms and towns along rivers in the Midwest are experiencing more heavy flooding this week, further delaying planting. Flood watches and warnings are in effect for much of eastern Kansas and western Missouri as another round of heavy rain descends on the region.

Above-normal rain and flooding further delayed already late planting season across the region, AccuWeather meteorologists said, warning that more heavy rain is expected this week. 

Rainfall totals in Omaha, Nebraska, and Des Moines, Iowa, have been held to 55 and 65%, respectively, of normal since April 20. However, rainy days have been frequent from the end of the month to the start of May.

Corn planting was significantly behind schedule in South Dakota, Illinois, Minnesota and Indiana (4 of the top 6 states for corn production), but Iowa and Nebraska, the other two states among the top 6 corn producers, were only slightly behind, meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.

The Mississippi River overflowed in several places on May 5 and 6, flooding roads, farms, homes and businesses. 

Levee breaches in St. Charles County, north of St. Louis, Missouri, resulted in evacuations of at least 150 people on May 5. Agricultural levees in the county failed on May 6 and flooded 370 Lakeside Park which is now closed until further notice.

Record-breaking flooding in Davenport, Iowa late last week resulted in multiple fatalities.

"The state of Iowa has received more precipitation in the last 12 months than any recorded period in 124 years of data," Bob Gallagher, the mayor of the of Bettendorf said Friday, May 3. "When you get as much rain as we have this year there's just no way to avoid this situation."

The Mississippi River reached 6.91 m (22.70 feet) at Rock Island, the Quad Cities region on May 2, breaking the previous record of 6.89 mm (22.63 feet) set on July 9, 1993, and making it the highest level there in 157 years. The flood crest surpassed 7.34 m (24.10 feet) in Illinois City on May 3, NWS reported.

Featured image credit: Illinois DNR

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