Is Flooding In The Future For Iowa Farmers?
Flooding can be a nightmare if you are a farmer. Back in 2019, flooding caused hundreds of livestock to drown or be stranded and turned fields into lakes-making them unplantable.
Flooding can even hurt the crops that you have already planted. When crops are exposed to flooding, you are potentially exposing them to sewage, chemicals, heavy metals, pathogenic microorganisms, or other contaminants.
If the edible crops are exposed to floodwater, it is considered contaminated and can not enter food channels.
Fast forward to today, should farmers be worried about this happening in Eastern Iowa?
Taking a look at the first flood outlook from the National Weather Service in Davenport, the chance of springtime flooding in eastern Iowa is "near normal to below normal.” However, this doesn’t mean there won’t be flooding at all.
Rich Kinney, the warning coordination meteorologist told WVIK that even though the snowpack here in Iowa is mostly melted, the snowpack in Minnesota isn’t- and that snowpack is storing an above-average amount of water.
The rate of the snowmelt, especially way up north in the upper reaches of the Mississippi River valley where there's a lot more snow than there is down here. We're also looking at additional snowfall or heavy spring rains.
Up through April, Kinney is expecting to see precipitation slightly above normal levels. Also, Kinney adds, the ground is only frozen a few inched deep, meaning melting snow and rain can be absorbed instead of running off into rivers.
Our river levels are, for this time of year, running around normal to, in some places, a little bit below norma. So, we've got quite a bit of room in the rivers right now for storage for heavy precipitation.
So, as of now, signs are pointing to a low possibility of flooding this spring. But weather conditions can change quickly so only time will tell.