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'It's not very good news' | St. Louis area could see enhanced spring flooding, National Weather Service says

The NWS says above normal soil moisture, river levels, and precipitation are all signs of a formidable spring

ALTON, Ill. — After this year's record flooding, some would say it's never too early to start thinking ahead.

Thursday, the National Weather Service (NWS) released its rain and temperature probabilities from January to March.

"Last year was extremely rough," said Mary Morrison of Morrison's Pub.

It seems like so long ago, the Mississippi River washed onto downtown Alton, the severe flooding leaving residents stunned in their own town.

It also left businesses bust for weeks.

"Normal flooding, you're closed for a week or two. We can handle that. Handling what we had last year, I don't want to try to," said Morrison.

It's not even Christmas yet – but the NWS has already released its predictions heading into spring 2020.

"It might be worthwhile to let people know that that risk will be there," said NWS hydrologist Mark Fuchs.

Fuchs said the above-normal soil moisture, river levels and precipitation are all signs of a formidable spring.

"It's unfortunately not very good news," said Fuchs. "There will likely be an enhanced chance of flooding, above normal flooding throughout the Mississippi basin and likely the Missouri basin as well."

The news is not exactly a surprise for Morrison.

"I've heard different rumors and predictions but I don't want to start freaking out now over something I can't control and I can't predict at this point."

Her corner bar is usually the river's first stop.

"Since we have gotten this place we've had a lot of major floods. There's three in the top 10, I believe, and we've only been here 4 1/2 years."

But today the only thing pouring in Morrison's pub is the whiskey.

"Cheers to no more floods," she said.

Morrison said she'll hold off on worrying about what the Mississippi has in store... for now.

"I'd go crazy if I didn't," she said. "if I just started worrying about the future and what happens when it becomes a reality, we'll react appropriately."

This is only a prediction. NWS said more precise predictions will be released in February.

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