Floodwaters on the tributaries to the Mississippi River were receding throughout most of the Coulee Region Saturday as cooler temperatures slowed snowmelt.
But, that doesn’t mean the threat of spring flooding is over. And the Mississippi may well keep rising for the next two weeks.
If the weather brings more rain in the coming weeks, flooding along the river could reach levels not seen in the Twin Cities in more than a half century, a National Weather Service meteorologist said Friday.
Speaking at a flood briefing in St. Paul, meteorologist Dan Luna pointed to a map showing a 15 percent or greater chance of major flooding along the Mississippi this spring.
“Just for a little context here, at St. Paul, there’s a 15 percent chance we could see levels as high or higher than what we saw in 1965 — which is the flood of record,” Luna said.
Back in the Coulee Region, the Trempealeau River at Dodge in Buffalo County reached a record Saturday, with the crest expected at 13.3 feet – exceeding the previous record of 12.8 feet.
There were road closures in Vernon County, a few evacuations in northern La Crosse County and generally a wet, muddy mess to deal with throughout the region.
The Kickapoo River at Ontario exceeded the 19-foot flood stage at 19.68, but was receding.
The peak along the Kickapoo was expected Saturday in Soldiers Grove and Sunday night at Gays Mills.
The forecast should be in our favor.
Highs were expected in the 30s with lows below freezing for the next couple of days, slowing the snowmelt.
Later in the week, temperatures will rise into the 50s.