ALTON – Mild to moderate flooding can be expected throughout the Riverbend for pretty much the duration of October.

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Jayson Gosselin, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service (NWS) in St. Louis said many areas around the Riverbend should expect to see mild-to-moderate flooding for the next few weeks due to an increase in precipitation falling from thunderstorms in the Upper Mississippi Basin, in places like Northern Illinois and Iowa. This water is all flowing downstream now, which is creating out-of-season flooding in the Riverbend.

“We've had a very wet three or four weeks upstream, especially in the last seven days,” Gosselin said. “That water is now moving downstream.”

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Usually, upstream waters cause flooding in late spring and early summer due to a mix of heavy thunderstorms and snow melt. This year, storms came a bit later. Gosselin said the current weather pattern up there is a lot calmer, cooler and dryer, so more flooding from that direction seems to be out of the picture for now.

With this water coming from the north, Alton is looking at a crest of 27.9 feet late Sunday night, which is on the high side of what qualifies as “minor” flooding with moderate flooding being 29 feet. Grafton will crest at 26 feet late Monday night, which is two feet above the moderate qualifier. Hardin will crest at 30.7 feet Wednesday evening, which is just a touch below moderate as well.

Flood levels in Hardin are due to backwaters from the Mississippi River and not the Illinois River itself.

These waters should recede in a few weeks in Alton, Gosselin said, but it may be by Halloween before Grafton sees river levels below flood stage, and maybe even early November before waters recede in Hardin.Dan Brannan also contributed to this story.

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