MURPHYSBORO — On Monday morning, the National Weather Service in Paducah issued a flood warning for areas along the Big Muddy River near Murphysboro. The warning is in effect from Wednesday morning to late Friday night.

Sean Poulos, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said rain last week caused the rivers to rise.

“We had 1.5 to 3 inches of rain that was pretty widespread across the area," Poulos said. "Carbondale ended up with almost 3.02 inches Thursday through Saturday, according to (the weather station at) Southern Illinois Airport."

Flood stage for the Big Muddy is 22 feet. It is expected to top that Wednesday morning. By Thursday morning, levels are predicted to reach 23.2 feet. Poulos said the river level is expected to fall below flood stage by Friday evening.

If the Big Muddy reaches 24.0 feet, some minor flooding will occur in the area of South Third and Division streets and Plum Street.

Rain also is expected Wednesday night through Thursday night.

“This round doesn’t look like we will have as much moisture to work with, so rainfall amounts should be a lot less, about one-third to half an inch. A lot of areas may not get half an inch,” Poulos said.

National Weather Service also issued a flood advisory for minor flooding in areas with poor drainage just before 5 a.m. for Jefferson, northern Hamilton, northern White, Wayne and Wabash counties because of heavy rainfall early Monday. That advisory expired at 9 a.m. Monday. 

Poulos added that although flooding is less common this time of year, it does happen. In late December 2015, the Mississippi River reached historic levels from St. Louis to Cairo.

The National Weather Service will update its flood advisories as more information becomes available. For the latest information, visit www.weather.gov/pah/.

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Marilyn Halstead is a reporter covering Williamson County.

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