As rivers and streams rise in Minnesota so does the threat of major flooding this spring.
Rain and snow from this past weekend only elevated flood chances, and with significant rain forecast Tuesday-Thursday this week, the threat of severe flooding will only rise.
The long-range flooding forecast from the U.S. Geological Survey shows dozens of pink markers at river points on the map below. Each pink marker represents a river location where there is a greater than 50 percent of major flooding this spring.
Here's the list of rivers in Minnesota with major flooding chances.
- Crow River at Rockford - 80 percent chance
- South Fork Crow River at Delano - 88 percent chance
- South Fork Crow River near Mayer - 69 percent chance
- St. Croix River at Stillwater - 90 percent chance
- Minnesota River at Savage - 92 percent chance
- Minnesota River at Jordan - 53 percent chance
- Minnesota River near Morton - 91 percent chance
- Minnesota River at Montevideo - 90 percent chance
- Cottonwood River at New Ulm - 94 percent chance
- Cottonwood River above Springfield - 54 percent chance
- Redwood River at Marshall - 50 percent chance
- Mississippi River at St. Paul - 95 percent chance
- Mississippi River at Hastings Lock & Dam Tailwater - 95 percent chance
- Mississippi River at Red Wing Lock & Dam #3 - 88 percent chance
- Mississippi River at Red Wing - 92 percent chance
- Mississippi River at Lake City - 61 percent chance
- Mississippi River at Wabasha - 82 percent chance
- Mississippi River at Minnesota City - 62 percent chance
- Mississippi River at Winona Dam 5a - 63 percent chance
- Mississippi River at Winona - 84 percent chance
- Mississippi River at Trempealeau - 71 percent chance
- Mississippi River at La Crescent - 68 percent chance
- Mississippi River at La Crosse - 81 percent chance
- Mississippi River at Genoa - 69 percent chance
The record flood stage of the Mississippi River in St. Paul was 26.01 feet in 1965. The chances of reaching that mark this year is less than 20 percent, but more rain and a speedy snowmelt will likely increase those chances.
The 1965 floods were record-breaking, as noted by the Minnesota DNR Climate Journal.
"April 1965 saw record flooding of the Mississippi, Minnesota and St. Croix Rivers. The records set in April 1965 still stand in many places. The Mississippi River crested at St. Paul at 26.01 feet on April 16th and the St. Croix River crested at Stillwater at 94.10 feet on April 18th, 1965. The next closest record at Stillwater is 1.8 feet lower at 92.30 feet in April 2001.
The flooding was caused by a combination of excessively deep frost, late winter snow and heavy April precipitation that caused rapid snow melt. With the ground still solidly frozen, the water ran off into rivers and caused widespread flooding."
Major flooding chances are also increasing along the Red, Sheyenne and the Wild Rice rivers in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
The Red River has a history of torturing Fargo with extreme flooding. As recently as 2009 the river reached 40.8 feet and mad the "town look like a combat zone," Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney recently told the Star Tribune.
“When you get over 35 feet, that’s when you start to look like 2009,” Mahoney told the newspaper.
The hydrologic outlook for the Red River at Fargo still has a less than 50 percent chance of reaching 35 feet late March through mid-April, but that doesn't take into account the expected rain and snow the area could get this week.
The risk, as great as it already is, will only worsen with expected rainfall of 1-2 inches currently forecast Tuesday-Thursday across the southern half of Minnesota.