Fascinating, Unprecedented, Frightening flooding in North America

  • Vancouver Island Inland Sections ForecastNo watches or warnings in effect.

    Forecast Issued 4:00 PM PST Tuesday 23 January 2018 Tuesday night: Showers. Low plus 3. Wednesday: A few showers ending in the morning then cloudy. A few showers beginning late in the afternoon. High plus 5. Wednesday night: Showers. Low plus 2. Thursday: Showers. High plus 4. Thursday night: Showers. Low plus 2. Friday: Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. High plus 5. Friday night: Rain. Low plus 1. Saturday: Rain. High plus 5. Saturday night: Rain. Low plus 5. Sunday: Rain. High 8. Sunday night: Rain. Low plus 4. Monday: Rain. High 8.

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The great plains of North America are currently experiencing the greatest flooding in 150 to 300 years.

CBC and CNN are both carrying footage live.

Today the Province of Manitoba intentionally breached a dyke on the Assiniboine River, flooding hundreds of houses and thousands of square km of land to protect against an uncontrolled breach that would threaten whole towns.

Assiniboine Breach
Picture from CBC News website of breach as it started flowing this morning.

The flow of the Assiniboine is currently 1/2 the rate of Niagara Falls.

Incredibly, at opposite ends of the central North America flood plain, the situation is even worse.
North America water basins

At 1PM today, the US Army Corps of Engineers will take the unprecedented step of having all 3 Mississippi flood diversion structures active at once when they open the Morganza Spillway. It will flood 2500 homes and threaten thousands more.

This is being done to protect the “Old River Control Structure” which keeps the Mississippi flowing through New Orleans and keep it from threatening millions in New Orleans and Baton Rouge and keeps that key economic centre of the US economy afloat, literally.

Old River Control Structure
The Old River Control Structure a couple days ago.

Why is all this happening? Major and persistent snowfall over the winter thanks to La Nina and big rains this spring. Global Warming could play a role as well as a warmer atmosphere will harbour more moisture and that moisture, whether snow or rain, ends up somewhere.

Morganza Spill Structure in 1973
Morganza Spill Structure the last time in 1973

Today, it is ending up, in incredibly dramatic ways, in Lake Manitoba and the Gulf of Mexico.

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Back home here, we can expect more rain over the weekend. Get out and about while you can. Late next week we should warm up a little.

One Reply to “Fascinating, Unprecedented, Frightening flooding in North America”

  1. Wow, while it seems Manitoba has escaped the worst-case scenario, the fires in Alberta are wreaking havoc.  We sometimes need to just consider how fortunate we are.
    In fact, the EC forecast is now full of shiny yellow balls for the upcoming long weekend!  Could we hit 20C by Thursday? 

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