The U.S. is likely to see “historic, widespread flooding” through May, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s spring outlook. From a report: “This is shaping up to be a potentially unprecedented flood season, with more than 200 million people at risk for flooding in their communities,” said Ed Clark, director of NOAA’s National Water Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. NOAA’s outlook calls for nearly two-thirds of the lower 48 states to face an elevated risk of flooding through May, with the potential for major to moderate flooding in 25 states across the Great Plains, Midwest and down through the Mississippi River valley.
“The flooding this year could be worse than what we have seen in previous years … even worse than the historic floods we saw in 1993 and 2011,” said Mary Erickson, deputy director of the National Weather Service. The warning comes amid record flooding triggered by a sudden warm-up and heavy rains earlier this month brought on by the “bomb cyclone.” Combined with rapid snowmelt, the factors in recent weeks have put many places in the Great Plains and Midwest underwater.
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