Two-thirds of the United States, including parts of North and East Texas, are at risk for increased flooding this spring, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's spring outlook.
The forecast, which identifies areas in the Trinity River Basin as being at moderate flood risk, comes on the heels of catastrophic flooding in Nebraska and Iowa last week that killed four people.
“The extensive flooding we’ve seen in the past two weeks will continue through May and become more dire and may be exacerbated in the coming weeks as the water flows downstream,” Ed Clark, director of NOAA’s National Water Center, said Thursday. “This is shaping up to be a potentially unprecedented flood season, with more than 200 million people at risk for flooding in their communities.”
Conditions are primed across the country for an above-average risk of major flooding, Clark said, but the level of precipitation the U.S. sees this spring, in addition to the amount of snow that melts in the Upper Midwest as temperatures heat up, will go a long way to determining the strength of this spring's floods.
In Texas, increased spring precipitation and higher than normal soil moisture mean higher flood risks this spring along the Trinity, as well as the Neches and Sabine rivers in East Texas, NOAA's 2019 National Hydrologic Assessment says.
Moderate flooding, the kind that's expected in DFW, means that buildings and roads near the body of water that's flooding could themselves flood, potentially forcing evacuations, according to NOAA.
Texas can expect higher than average temperatures, as well as continued above-average precipitation this spring, NOAA's Jon Gottschalk said during a press conference Thursday. The persistent rain will continue to fight against the patches of drought that still exist in Texas, largely in the southern and central parts of the state.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.