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      Good chance for flooding in 2011

      Flooding on the Mississippi River is more likely this year than it has been in the past eight years, including 2008.

      That's just one of the predictions Marion County Emergency Management Director John Hark has heard.

      He realizes rumors are rumors, but he wants to be prepared for whatever comes down the river this year.

      KHQA's Jarod Wells talked to Hark about this year's flood outlook.

      Ice still lines the banks of the Mississippi River and its tributaries, but what may follow that ice has Marion County Emergency Management Director John Hark planning ahead. Numerous predictions he has heard have been that there is a good chance for severe flooding in 2011.

      Hark said, "We're going to definitely have something. Too much snow on the ground here, north of us. The grounds going to be saturated, right now it's frozen so the melt is all going to run off. Spring rains come in, warm weather."

      Those are the type of factors Hark says are going to make a difference on what the rivers do or do not do.

      Hark said, "How quick the spring rains hit us right behind a snow melt is going to be a big factor as far as what it'll do."

      With rain in the extended forecast, Hark says it's never to early to start thinking about flooding.

      Hark said,"It's kind of hard with this much on the ground to start talking about flooding and planning and thinking flooding, but when you've got this much snow and we're coming into the time of year we're coming into, if you're wise you'll start planning for flooding."

      We also spoke to Lee County Emergency Management Director Steve Cirrina.

      He says the national weather service is putting together a multi-year comparison to see what type of flooding we can expect.

      He says the conditions we currently have are more similar to the 1993 floods rather than 2008.

      There was more snow prior to the '93 floods, the 2008 floods had to do more with rainfall.