ALTON - Alton, Grafton and Hardin are expected to be close to the flood stage with rising river levels by May 4, 2023, after a huge snowpack has melted in northern Minnesota in the Upper part of the Mississippi River.
Some residents along the swelling Upper Mississippi River evacuated their homes this week while others scrambled Wednesday to stack sandbags in preparation for potential flooding. A small number of people had to leave their homes in Wisconsin as the river kept rising.
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These are the projections by the U.S. Geological Survey for this area. In Hardin, the Illinois River projection has a high on May 4, 2023, of 26.3 feet, the flood stage is 25 feet and 26.3 feet is considered slightly above minor flooding.
In Grafton, a Mississippi River high of 21.4 feet is predicted on May 6, 2023, which is considered just above minor flooding. Minor flooding in Grafton is considered at 20 feet.
The Mississippi River level at Mel Price (Alton) Lock and Dam is projected to be at 18.5 feet on May 6, 2023, which is within a half foot of minor flooding of 19 feet for that area.
Grafton Mayor Mike Morrow said: "We are looking at 21.4 of a high in terms of river levels is predicted and [don't] anticipate any real impact there."
He continued: "We have been in touch with the NOA and have another flood meeting tomorrow, but I don't anticipate any of the roads to be covered," he said. "You have to remember the Upper Mississippi is not very wide, so that area is more prone to flooding than here. The river gets wider and wider as it goes into other places in Illinois and Missouri."
One concern Morrow said is that if there isn't more rainfall, some of the areas could face drought conditions this summer.
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