National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Key Points (updated 05:00 AM, 5/6/2023)

  • Mississippi River has crested from Lake City to Guttenberg Dam 10. MAJOR level flooding occurred at Wabasha, Winona, Trempealeau, La Crosse, and McGregor.

  • ‚ÄčIt will take until around May 10th (a little earlier for northern sites, a little later for southern sites) for most sites to fall below Flood Stage. Another week from there for the river to fall back within its banks.
  • The river was at its highest since 2001. - Most sites saw a top 5 crest.
  • Do not enter flooded waters - hidden debris that the flood has picked up along the way can cause serious injury and/or trap you under the water with strong currents.

  • Adjustments to official river forecasts (the purple line on the graphs below under "Latest Stages / 7 Day Forecasts") will be made at least twice per day in the AM & PM. Reference the official forecasts often and use them as a guide to help your planning - they take into account additional rainfall and how the snowmelt has been progressing. 

Current Stages & 7-Day Forecasts

Lake City  [more details]
Lake City
Flood Categories
Major Flood: 20 ft
Moderate Flood: 18 ft
Flood Stage: 16 ft
Action Stage: 14 ft
Historical Crests:
  1. 22.18 ft on 04/19/1965
  2. 20.20 ft on 04/17/1969
  3. 20.13 ft on 04/16/2001
  4. 19.17 ft on 04/18/1952
  5. 19.06 ft on 04/16/1951

 

Wabasha  [more details]
Wabasha
Flood Categories
Major Flood: 16 ft
Moderate Flood: 14 ft
Flood Stage: 12 ft
Action Stage: 10 ft
Historical Crests:
  1. 20.05 ft on 04/19/1965
  2. 18.22 ft on 04/16/2001
  3. 17.63 ft on 04/16/1969
  4. 16.71 ft on 04/18/1952
  5. 16.53 ft on 04/11/1997

 

Alma[more details]
Alma
Flood Categories
Major Flood: 18 ft
Moderate Flood: 17 ft
Flood Stage: 16 ft
Action Stage: 11 ft
Historical Crests:
  1. 19.78 ft on 04/19/1965
  2. 18.15 ft on 04/16/2001
  3. 17.53 ft on 04/18/1969
  4. 16.30 ft on 04/18/1952
  5. 16.20 ft on 04/16/1951

 

Minnesota City[more details]
Minnesota City
Flood Categories
Major Flood: 665 ft
Moderate Flood: 662 ft
Flood Stage: 660 ft
Action Stage: 657 ft
Historical Crests:
  1. 667.85 ft on 04/19/1965
  2. 665.70 ft on 04/16/2001
  3. 665.45 ft on 04/11/1997
  4. 665.10 ft on 04/18/1969
  5. 663.84 ft on 04/19/1952

 

Winona Dam 5A [more details]
Winona Dam 5A
Flood Categories
Major Flood: 661 ft
Moderate Flood: 659 ft
Flood Stage: 655 ft
Action Stage: 650 ft
Historical Crests:
  1. 663.35 ft on 04/19/1965
  2. 661.95 ft on 04/17/2001
  3. 661.60 ft on 04/11/1997
  4. 661.37 ft on 04/19/1969
  5. 659.90 ft on 04/20/1952

 

Winona [more details]
Winona
Flood Categories
Major Flood: 18 ft
Moderate Flood: 15 ft
Flood Stage: 13 ft
Action Stage: 11 ft
Historical Crests:
  1. 20.77 ft on 04/19/1965
  2. 20.07 ft on 04/17/2001
  3. 19.44 ft on 04/19/1969
  4. 18.30 ft on 04/11/1997
  5. 17.93 ft on 04/20/1952

 

Trempealeau[more details]
Trempealeau
Flood Categories
Major Flood: 651 ft
Moderate Flood: 649 ft
Flood Stage: 647 ft
Action Stage: 644 ft
Historical Crests:
  1. 653.02 ft on 04/21/1965
  2. 651.43 ft on 04/18/2001
  3. 651.40 ft on 04/11/1997
  4. 650.80 ft on 04/19/1969
  5. 649.98 ft on 04/20/1952

 

La Crescent [more details]
La Crescent
Flood Categories
Major Flood: 645 ft
Moderate Flood: 643 ft
Flood Stage: 641 ft
Action Stage: 638 ft
Historical Crests:
  1. 647.38 ft on 04/21/1965
  2. 645.20 ft on 04/18/2001
  3. 644.87 ft on 04/20/1969
  4. 644.30 ft on 04/20/1952
  5. 643.85 ft on 04/19/1951

 

La Crosse [more details]
La Crosse
Flood Categories
Major Flood: 15.5 ft
Moderate Flood: 13 ft
Flood Stage: 12 ft
Action Stage: 10 ft
Historical Crests:
  1. 17.89 ft on 04/22/1965
  2. 16.41 ft on 04/18/2001
  3. 15.70 ft on 04/20/1969
  4. 15.30 ft on 04/20/1952
  5. 15.01 ft on 04/12/1997

 

Genoa [more details]
Genoa
Flood Categories
Major Flood: 636 ft
Moderate Flood: 634 ft
Flood Stage: 631 ft
Action Stage: 625.2 ft
Historical Crests:
  1. 638.40 ft on 04/22/1965
  2. 636.45 ft on 04/12/1997
  3. 636.21 ft on 04/18/2001
  4. 635.24 ft on 04/20/1969
  5. 634.52 ft on 04/20/1952

 

Lansing [more details]
Lansing
Flood Categories
Major Flood: 20 ft
Moderate Flood: 19 ft
Flood Stage: 17 ft
Action Stage: 12 ft
Historical Crests:
  1. 22.50 ft on 04/24/1965
  2. 19.93 ft on 04/21/2001
  3. 19.90 ft on 06/20/1880
  4. 18.88 ft on 04/22/1969
  5. 18.46 ft on 06/30/1993

 

Lynxville[more details]
Lynxville
Flood Categories
Major Flood: 631 ft
Moderate Flood: 628 ft
Flood Stage: 625 ft
Action Stage: 620 ft
Historical Crests:
  1. 633.16 ft on 04/24/1965
  2. 631.22 ft on 04/21/2001
  3. 631.05 ft on 04/14/1997
  4. 629.42 ft on 04/22/1969
  5. 629.08 ft on 06/30/1993

 

McGregor [more details]
McGregor
Flood Categories
Major Flood: 22 ft 22 ft
Moderate Flood: 19 ft 19 ft
Flood Stage: 16 ft 16 ft
Action Stage: 13 ft 13 ft
Historical Crests:
  1. 25.38 ft on 04/24/1965
  2. 23.75 ft on 04/20/2001
  3. 21.98 ft on 06/29/1993
  4. 21.75 ft on 04/26/2019
  5. 21.58 ft on 04/22/1969

 

Guttenberg[more details]
Guttenberg
Flood Categories
Major Flood: 21 ft 21 ft
Moderate Flood: 18 ft 18 ft
Flood Stage: 15 ft 15 ft
Action Stage: 12 ft 12 ft
Historical Crests:
  1. 23.65 ft on 04/24/1965
  2. 21.68 ft on 04/21/2001
  3. 20.15 ft on 06/30/1993
  4. 19.98 ft on 04/27/2019
  5. 19.84 ft on 04/22/1969

     

Preliminary Timing & Crests 

Flooding this spring produced crests down the mainstem Mississippi River somewhere between 2019 and 2001 flood levels - most of these crests fell within the top 5 on record. 
  • The bulk of the snowpack in the Mississippi River basin has melted and this water is working down the river. Additional rises along the Mississippi River will be tied to any future precipitation.
  • After the river crests, it will take 2 to 3 weeks for the river to fall back to normal levels. Any precipitation that falls during this sensitive time may result in secondary crests and/or a prolonged period of the river remaining above flood stage.
  • The information below (as of May 1) is based on preliminary data and is subject to review and adjustments.*
Location Major
Flood Stage
Preliminary 2023 Crest Crest Timing 2023 Crest Rank 2019 Crest 2001 Crest 1965 Crest
Lake City 20 ft ~18.98 ft Crested April 25 6th 17.63 ft 20.13 ft 22.18 ft
Wabasha 16 ft ~17.03 ft Crested April 25 4th 15.54 ft 18.22 ft 20.05 ft
Alma 18 ft ~17.05 ft Crested April 25 4th 15.50 ft 18.15 ft 19.78 ft
MN City Dam 665 ft ~664.30 ft Crested April 25 5th 662.62 ft 665.70 ft 667.85 ft
Winona Dam 661 ft ~660.51 ft Crested April 26 5th 658.75 ft 661.95 ft 663.35 ft
Winona 18 ft ~18.81 ft Crested April 26 4th 17.30 ft 20.07 ft 20.77 ft
Trempealeau 651 ft ~651.01 Crested April 25 4th 649.80 ft 651.43 ft 653.02 ft
La Crescent 645 ft ~644.77 ft Crested April 26 4th 643.9 ft 645.20 ft 647.38 ft
La Crosse 15.5 ft ~15.89 ft Crested April 26 3rd 14.58 ft 16.41 ft 17.89 ft
Genoa 636 ft ~635.72 ft Crested April 27 4th 633.84 ft 636.21 ft 638.40 ft
Lansing 20 ft ~ 19.61 ft Crested April 28 4th 17.89 ft 19.93 ft 22.50 ft
Lynxville 631 ft ~630.26 ft Crested April 28 4th 628.74 ft 631.22 ft 633.16 ft
McGregor 22 ft ~ 22.91 ft Crested April 28 3rd 21.75 ft 23.75 ft 25.38 ft
Guttenberg 21 ft ~20.98 ft Crested April 28 3rd 19.98 ft 21.68 ft 23.65 ft

 

What do the flood crest categories mean?

  • MODERATE: some inundation of roads and structures near the river and/or some evacuations.
  • MAJOR: extensive inundation of roads and structures and/or significant evacuation efforts.

Background Information on High Chances of Flooding

Why was flooding likely this year along the Mississippi River? Multiple factors impacted this year's spring flooding potential, but the main driver was the unseasonably deep snowpack across northern parts of the region - coupled with the rapid warm-up that led to rapid melting. 
  • Abnormally deep snowpack across the headwaters of the Mississippi River as well as other major river basins (Minnesota, St. Croix, Chippewa, Wisconsin) that feed into the mainstem of the Mississippi River; this snowpack contained approximately 4-8 inches of liquid equivalent.
  • Colder than normal March limited early, gradual melting of the snowpack, keeping it longer into spring when it becomes more susceptible to rapid warm-ups and melting.
  • An unusually warm (4 to 9°F warmer-than-normalfirst half of April resulted in RAPID snowmelt into river systems that feed into the Mississippi River.
  • An unusually wet April likely helped increase the height of the crest. Through April 22, precipitation anomalies ranged near normal to 4" above normal in the basins that flow into the Upper Mississippi River. The largest anomalies were found in the Black River in Wisconsin, and Minnesota Basin in Minnesota.

How can this flood threat change?

  • Observed crests were roughly 12 to 18 hours ahead of schedule and 3 to 4 inches lower than expected, updated forecasts accounted for this.
  • Official river forecasts include 24 hours of expected rainfall. Rainfall beyond this period, or higher than forecast rainfall (thunderstorms) will result in higher river levels than forecast. Continue to monitor the latest forecasts on the "Latest Stages / 7-Day Forecasts" tab.

      National Water Center's SWE Flight Analyses from April 7th & 8th, 2023

What To Do?

  • Follow local official instructions. Do not go around closed roadways. Do not enter flooded waters - hidden debris that the flood has picked up along the way can cause serious injury and/or trap you under the water with strong currents.

Historic Floods