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NWS keeping close eye on La Crosse area rivers

Published On: Apr 18 2013 12:08:37 AM CDT
Updated On: Apr 18 2013 08:18:46 AM CDT
LA CROSSE, Wis. -

With the string of rainy days, the National Weather Service is keeping a close eye on local rivers.

They say minor flooding is possible with as little as one and a half to two inches of rain.

The frost isn't a problem anymore, but the ground is saturated so most of the rain will run right into the rivers.

River levels are already high with the Trempealeau and Black Rivers at or above flood stage.

But there are several other rivers they are watching. "We could have flooding possible on the Upper Iowa River, runs through North East Iowa, also on the Kickapoo River, we could see some flooding farther south along the Turkey river and of course all these rivers feed into the Mississippi so that water level should be coming up as well," said NWS Meteorologist Mike Welvaert.

So what does all this precipitation mean for our drought outlook?

The National Weather Service says we are more than two inches above normal so far this month. In fact, we've had the wettest spring since 2006.

With this latest rainfall, last year's drought could be gone. "The rains that we're seeing in the next several days will probably alleviate the remainder of the drought so we'll probably see less problems with the groundwater being low, they've actually been rising over the last couple of weeks," said Jeff Boyne of the La Crosse NWS office.

That's good news for farmers. But they will have to deal with cooler than normal temps into May which could delay their planting season.

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