Snowstorm could make Midwest flooding even worse

Areas in the Midwest and Northern Plains that saw record flooding just weeks ago will likely see more.

In March, a winter storm brought flooding to the Midwest that broke records. Two weeks after the flooding, 10 states — Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin — had groundwater threatened by bacterial and industrial contamination carried by flood waters.

And now, many of those states have been hit again by up to two feet of snow.

That snow will melt and flow into the same rivers that saw record flooding just a few weeks ago, CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said.

A major spring storm has brought warnings and advisories from Utah to Michigan, the National Weather Service said. Blizzard conditions have stretched from the Dakotas to Minnesota,” the National Weather Service said.

“Really hope this is the last snow storm we’ll have to post about this spring,” NWS tweeted. “But … it’s worth repeating. Stay safe out there!”

Second bomb cyclone

The storm is the second bomb cyclone to hit the Rockies and Plains in four weeks.

A bomb cyclone is a rapidly strengthening storm in which pressure drops 24 millibars (a unit of pressure) within 24 hours. However, that benchmark can change depending on when the storm forms.

This storm dropped 20 to 23 millibars over 24 hours starting Tuesday afternoon in Colorado, but based on location (40 degrees north latitude) the storm’s pressure only had to drop 18 millibars, CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said.

A driver died Wednesday when a pickup truck crashed into a Denver International Airport (DIA) snow plow, according to CNN affiliate KMGH.

Denver Police Officer Jay Casillas told the station that emergency personnel responded to a call late Wednesday about a two-vehicle crash.

The snow plow was traveling northbound while the pickup truck was going southbound — the truck lost control due to road conditions and crashed into the snow plow, Casillas said. The driver died on the scene.

Storm moving out

About 4.5 million people across the Midwest remain under winter weather alerts, and all of the winter storm warnings, winter storm advisories and blizzard warnings will expire by midday Friday, Brink said.

While Minnesota can expect another 4-8 inches of snow Friday, the storm will begin to push out of the Midwest and into Canada, Brink said.

But while the storm moves North, attention will shift to the South.

“The focus then shifts South this weekend as another storm system will bring the potential for severe thunderstorms, heavy rainfall, and flooding over the south central U.S.,” NWS tweeted.

Damage done

The storms have already caused damage before the melting of up to two feet of snow.

The National Weather Service office in Nebraska said travel will be almost impossible until Friday morning.

Minneapolis schools will be closed Friday in response to the storm, and over 1,700 flights have been canceled over the last couple of days due to the storm.

Around 100,000 people are without power, mainly in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan.

The storm has caused particular issues for farmers, according to Brenda Dreyer, marketing and communications director of the South Dakota Farm Bureau.

“Right now we have many, many power outages, power crews aren’t even able to get out to fix them,” Dreyer said.

“This kind of cold weather puts a lot of stress on cattle, so a lot of sickness is what we are experiencing.”

CNN’s Faith Karimi, Nadia Kounang, Joe Sutton, Brandon Miller and Haley Brink contributed to this report.