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USGS Measures Record Flooding in Missouri

Matt Ball on December 31, 2015 - in Corporate, Sensors, Stormwater

U.S. Geological Survey field crews are measuring record flooding on rivers and streams across southern Missouri and northeast into the St. Louis area.

Widespread flooding has caused 13 fatalities, hundreds of road closures and more than 1,000 power outages across the state.

USGS crews recorded 18 preliminary record-high flood measurements along the Meramac River. Additional historic peaks are expected throughout the southern part of the state over the next few days. Seven USGS crews are measuring high flood flows and verifying streamgage operations in the Arkansas, White, Gasconade and Meramec River valleys.

“USGS crews are working around the clock to make accurate flood measurements available to the Army Corps of Engineers, National Weather Service and emergency managers for flood forecasting and flood-control operations,” said USGS National Flood Coordinator, Bob Holmes. “Our team is working closely with other agencies, like the Missouri Highway Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard, to assist with the logistics of gaining safe access to rivers for our USGS field crews, especially as we prepare for the Mississippi River crest in St. Louis.”

The USGS is collecting critical streamflow data that are vital for the protection of life, property and the environment. These data are used by the National Weather Service to develop flood forecasts, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to manage flood control and local agencies in their flood response activities.

There are 265 USGS-operated streamgages in Missouri that measure water levels, streamflow and rainfall. When flooding occurs, USGS crews make numerous streamflow measurements to verify the data the USGS provides to federal, state and local agencies, as well as to the public.

For more than 125 years, the USGS has monitored flow in selected streams and rivers across the United States. The information is routinely used for water supply and management, monitoring floods and droughts, bridge and road design, determination of flood risk and for many recreational activities.

Access current flood and high flow conditions across the country by visiting the USGS WaterWatch website. Receive instant, customized updates about water conditions in your area via text message or email by signing up for USGS WaterAlert.

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