The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is monitoring high water conditions affecting parts of the Upper Mississippi River in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa as a result of historic flows this winter. Cities from Winona, Minnesota, to Guttenberg, Iowa, have an increased chance of localized flooding due to ice dams.
The high water conditions were created by a combination of ice dams and historic high flows. The current river flows are at levels normally observed in late spring. Irregular temperatures have also prevented ice from forming in a stable way, which compounds the ice dam problem. The ice has blocked the river’s normal flow and forced water out of its banks. It has also reduced the ability to actively manage the river water elevations.
Depending on temperatures and the rate of ice melt, there could be more high water in the weeks and months ahead. the Corps is working with the National Weather Service and the U.S. Geological Survey to monitor the river and provide communication with the public.