The record and near-record river flooding across northern and eastern Iowa this week is notable because it is happening in September. Severe flooding in Iowa is more common in summer and spring but unprecedented in the fall.
In our own region, the Red River is known primarily for flooding in the spring. In recorded history, there has been just one non-spring severe flood on the Red River in the summer of 1975. Many people are of the opinion that a 2009 type severe river flood in summer or fall simply could not happen because such a thing has not happened so far.
Not so. The only reason there hasn’t been severe flooding outside of spring in the Red River basin is that there hasn’t been enough rain at one time. But with weather, and particularly precipitation, becoming more extreme in recent years, a severe flood on the Red River even in the fall is most certainly a possibility.