Annual U.S. Spring Outlook: Flooding Expected to Worsen

The National Weather Service (NWS) released their annual spring outlook yesterday to help citizens take the necessary steps to prepare. This year’s outlook predicts spring flooding will worsen beginning as early as this week, affecting almost half the country from the North Central U.S. through the Midwest and the Northeast, causing an above average risk of flooding across portions of the Northeast, including Southern New England and parts of eastern NY State.

(U.S. Spring Flood Risk Map for 2011. Photo: Courtesy of NOAA)

Some specifics from the Spring Outlook include:

For the third consecutive year, forecasters predict major flooding along the Red River of the North, which forms the state line between eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota.
Other areas of the Midwest primed for major flooding include Devils Lake in North Dakota, the Milk River in Northeastern Montana, the James and Big Sioux Rivers in South Dakota, the Minnesota River, and the Mississippi River from its headwaters near St. Paul, Minnesota, downstream to St. Louis.
There is an above average risk of flooding across portions of the Northeast, including Southern New England and parts of eastern NY State.
In a conference call today with the National Weather Service, Administrator Fugate reiterated that there are a few simple steps every family should take now, before disaster strikes: be aware of your risk, make an emergency kit, get a family communication plan and get flood insurance before flooding occurs.

At FEMA, we have been working closely with all our state partners on incorporating lessons learned from the past flood seasons into our emergency planning for this year, as well as conducting aggressive outreach with our federal, state and local counterparts, and emergency managers. You can continue to monitor the latest forecasts from your local National Weather Service office, visit our Flood Safety Awareness page for additional preparedness tips, and remember, if you come across a flooded road, Turn Around, Don’t Drown.

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