Iowa Braces for Flooding, and Yosemite Closes Down

Warmer temperatures are causing flood threats across the US after a strong winter
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2023 5:40 PM CDT
Iowa Braces, Yosemite Closes as Snowpacks Trigger Flooding
The Merced River rages through Yosemite National Park, Calif., on Tuesday, April 25, 2023. Much of the famed valley at California's Yosemite National Park will be temporarily closed starting Friday, April 28, due to a forecast of flooding as rising temperatures melt the Sierra Nevada's massive snowpack.   (Bronte Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

Parts of the US endured a fierce winter with heavy snow. Now that temperatures are warming up and snowpacks are melting, the second part of that double whammy is here—flooding.

  • Yosemite: NPR reports that Yosemite National Park will close from Friday through at least May 3 because of flooding. Temperatures are expected to climb up to 15 degrees this weekend, which means that melting snow will turn the Merced River into a dynamo. The entire Sierra Nevada region saw snow levels up to 300% higher than normal this winter.

  • The Mississippi: Residents along the Upper Mississippi River were forced to evacuate their homes this week thanks to the melting of a bigger-than-normal snowpack in northern Minnesota, reports the AP. Evacuations took place in Wisconsin, while residents in Iowa and elsewhere were keeping a close watch on water levels. Davenport, Iowa, in particular was bracing for major flooding when the river crests there on Saturday, per the AP and NBC News. Forecasts say the the river will reach the third-highest level ever recorded in the city.
(More flooding stories.)

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