Numerous towns along the northern reaches of the Mississippi River could experience “major” flooding in the coming days, according to the National Weather Service.
The National Weather Service said several portions of the river will have near-record crests on Wednesday. Dozens of counties are under flood warnings.
The National Weather Service reported that in Wabasha, Minnesota, the Mississippi River reached 17 feet early Wednesday for just the fourth time in recorded history. The crest there was the highest in 22 years, the National Weather Service said.
The river reached 19 feet in Winona, Minnesota, on Wednesday. It too was the fourth-highest crest on record.
The river is still rising in Genoa, Wisconsin, where it is expected to crest at 636 feet on Thursday, marking the fourth time the river has climbed to major flood stage.
Downstream, the river is expected to crest in McGregor, Iowa, on Sunday at 24 feet. It is expected to be the second-highest crest in history there.
The National Weather Service said an unusually large snowpack, a colder than normal March, a warmer than average April, and heavy rain have all combined to cause the near-record flooding.
On Tuesday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a disaster declaration in five additional counties, bringing the total number to 15. The declaration allows individuals making up to 200% of the federal property level to access grants for home or car repairs, replacement of clothing or food, and temporary housing expenses due to the flooding.
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