USGS Measures Record Flooding in Missouri

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Reporters: Do you want to interview USGS scientists as they measure flooding? Please contact Jennifer LaVista.

U.S. Geological Survey field crews are measuring record flooding on rivers and streams across southern Missouri.

USGS crews recorded more than 20 preliminary record-high flood measurements in the Arkansas and White River basins, as well as in some urban areas. Additional historic peaks are expected throughout the lower part of the state over the next few days, as rainfall will likely continue in parts of the White River and Lower Mississippi River Basins. USGS crews are measuring high flood flows and verifying streamgage operations throughout the southern part of the state.

The USGS is collecting critical streamflow data that are vital for 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 272 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.

USGS hydrologic technician measures floodwaters along Flat Creek near Jenkins, Missouri.
USGS hydrologic technician Matthew Williams measures floodwaters along Flat Creek near Jenkins, Missouri using an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiling instrument. (Credit: Pete Christensen, USGS. Public domain.)
USGS hydrologic technician Christopher Rowden verifies the accuracy of streamgage information at the Jacks Fork River.
USGS hydrologic technician Christopher Rowden verifies the accuracy of streamgage information at the Jacks Fork River at Eminence, Missouri.(Credit: Jarrett Ellis, USGS. Public domain.)