More spring flooding expected nationwide


FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - Parts of Kentucky have already experienced flooding this year and Midwest states such as Nebraska are currently seeing record water levels, but it doesn’t appear the Eastern U.S. will see any relief soon.

The National Weather Service on Thursday released their National Hydrologic Assessment, which indicates a better than 50 percent of more flooding this spring.

The study offers an analysis of flood risk and water supply for the spring based on late summer, fall, and winter precipitation, frost depth, soil saturation levels, snowpack, current streamflow, and projected spring weather. 

According to their Spring Flood Outlook, t
his winter has brought above or much above normal precipitation to much of the United States. Several portions of the country received accumulated precipitation exceeding 200 percent of average to date.

For Kentucky, the entire state has a better than 50-50 chance of at least minor flooding, while southern and western Kentucky have a 50 percent plus change of moderate flooding.  The river basins with an increased risk of moderate to major flooding include lower Ohio, lower Cumberland, and Tennessee River basins, as well as the entire length of the Mississippi River.

The Cumberland, Ohio, and Tennessee River basins in Kentucky and Tennessee received higher than normal precipitation this winter, leading to enhanced soil saturation levels. Rain is expected to be the main driver behind minor to moderate flooding in the region this spring, with minor to moderate flooding is likely in the Cumberland, Green, and lower Kentucky River basins.  Minor flooding is expected in the middle Ohio River. 

It should be noted that although the probability of major flooding is lower than 50 percent, the Cumberland River Basin shows a 5-20 percent chance of major flooding this spring. Isolated major flooding is possible, especially in western and southern Kentucky and western Tennessee where soils are highly saturated.

The National Weather Service notes that the National Hydrologic Assessment depicts flood risk over large areas and is not intended to be used for any specific location.  Also, this assessment displays river and overland flood threat on the scale of weeks or months.

Flash flooding or debris flow, which accounts for the majority of flood deaths, is a different phenomenon associated with weather patterns that are only predictable days in advance.

To stay current on flood risk in your area, go to for the latest local forecasts, warnings, and weather information 24 hours a day.



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