Wet Winter Raises Threat of Mississippi River Flooding

JANUARY 14, 2005 - Posted at 7:58 a.m. CST

NEW ORLEANS, LA - For now, the Mississippi River valley, swollen from snow melt and rain, is mostly a nuisance.  But with the rest of winter and spring ahead, there are growing worries about the threat of devastating flooding.

Already high waters have caused problems for river traffic on the Ohio River and minor flooding in low-lying areas outside the levees that hold in the river's water.  The Arkansas River has been having heavy flows.

Officials say the volume of water coursing down the Mississipp River this January hasn't been seen in more than 50 years.

Any spring flooding will depend on how much more rain falls.  Army Corps of Engineers officials say there has been high water in January before, but diminished rainfall later on stopped major flooding threats.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)