We've been talking about the flood watch but I wanted to share a few more details with you about what you can expect.
First, a few key terms. A Flood Watch refers generally to bodies of water. The water tends to rise and fall a bit slower than that of a Flash Flood. Those with interests along area rivers need to stay informed on the situation when a Flood Watch is in effect. Flash flooding on the other hand occurs as a result of an intense storm dropping large amounts of rain within a very brief period. Flash floods are the number one weather-related killer in the United States.
Flash Flooding also often occurs outside bodies of water, often in streets. This is why we tell people never to drive their vehicles over water covered roadways. The strength of flash flood waters is the most deceiving element for drivers. Moving water has tremendous power to float and push anything in its path. Seemingly shallow water can tumble even large vehicles off the road.
We've had a lot of rain and snow over the last several months and the ground is saturated. The heavy rainfall that we are expecting will lead to excessive runoff which will likely lead to flooding. Moderate to major flooding is anticipated if we get the rain we're forecasting. The worst of it appears to threaten areas from the Missouri River South and Southeast and also Southern Illinois. While there is a threat to many area waterways, two of our greatest concerns are on the Meramec and Kaskaskia.
A Flood Warning is in effect for the Kaskaskia River at Carlyle. Flood Stage is 423.5 ft and the river is expected to rise to near 424.2 by early tomorrow afternoon with additional rises possible thereafter.
The Meramec River at Arnold is expected to crest at 23.6 feet Friday morning. Flood stage is 24 feet. Again, additional rises possible thereafter.