The National Weather Service is closely monitoring flooding chances along the Mississippi river and its tributaries, like the Chippewa and Eau Claire rivers. First News at Nine’s Jessica Bringe says they’ve been preparing for flooding for weeks.
While there has been some urban flooding in homes, Eau Claire emergency management says it could be much worse. Right now we’ve seen a slow snow melt, but as temperatures continue to climb that could change in the coming weeks.
The National Weather Service in La Crosse says it’s been keeping a close eye on the Mississippi river as snow continues to melt and warmer weather is forecasted. This is a higher end flood risk especially along the main stem Mississippi river in the next two to three weeks there’s a high potential for a significant amount of water to move down that river.
The weather service says that means offshoots of the Mississippi like the Eau Claire and Chippewa rivers are also at risk for flooding next week. There’s still quite a bit of snow to melt in those river basins and as that snow melts it’s going to create the potential for significant flooding in those areas.
The city of Eau Claire says it’s been meeting for the past four weeks to address the potential for severe flooding, ordering sand bags and opening up storm inlets.
“What we’ve been doing up until this point besides that planning is we’ve been dealing with a lot of urban flooding, opening up our storm inlets to make sure any of the water that’s running off from the snow melt is taken care of so we’re in good shape there now. We’ve got the inlets open now.”
Eau Claire emergency management says it has a good handle on where water levels will hit and continues to stay in communication with the National Weather Service.
The Eau Claire river there’s a couple low lying spots. Actually, County Highway QQ is closed at this point due to water over the roadway and that’s a normal low spot along that river that we typically have to close, so we have some spots across the county that we keep a closer eye on when the river starts rising.
Emergency management officials also say you can sign up for the emergency notification system to get alerts like flood warnings and flash flood warnings to be better prepared in weather events. Jessica Bring – First News at Nine.