As the waters rise in lakes and rivers throughout the upper Midwest, the annual turnout of National Guard and Coast Guard personnel for flood duty is also beginning. The season has already seen record flooding in Illinois and a prediction of record flooding in North Dakota.
The North Dakota National Guard has called up about 80 troops to begin the flood fight in the Fargo area. Their primary assignment at this time is traffic control as the civil authorities move sandbags and build earth levees in preparation for the flood. The Red River of the North is expected to rise to between 38 and 40 feet , according to the city of Fargo. North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple has told local officials across the state that up to 4,000 national guardsmen are available if needed. On Tuesday, Dalrymple wrote President Barack Obama requesting an emergency declaration for the state based of the forecasted flooding. Fargo volunteers have filled 1,145,000 sandbags and sandbag levee construction will begin Friday.
It began raining April 16 in Illinois and by Tuesday 10 stream gauges in the state had recorded record high water levels , according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The Illinois Air National Guard has been assisting the Corps of Engineers in surveying levees and dikes throughout the state from the air. A Coast Guard team from Marine Safety Detachment Quad Cities used its boats during several flood rescues in Forest View, Ill., on Saturday. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has declared 38 counties in the state disaster areas.
Missouri has mobilized at least 100 soldiers and airmen from its National Guard to assist with flood control operations along the Mississippi and in other areas of the state after last week's heavy rains. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency April 19 and ordered the Guard into action to assist local authorities. The National Weather Service in St. Louis currently is showing 80 stream gauges in flood stage . The Mississippi River above St. Louis, the Illinois River and the Wabash River are showing the most serious flooding.
The snow melt has just begun for much of the upper Midwest as late spring cold and blizzards have slowed the process. About 47 percent of the region is still snow-covered, according to the National Weather Service. Any snow cover has disappeared for the lower Midwest . The danger of flooding remains the greatest along the Red River of the North and rivers and streams in Illinois and Missouri.
- Natural Phenomena
- Nature & Environment
- Jack Dalrymple
- North Dakota