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Flooding in the Missouri Basin
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
The Missouri River remained flooded along the borders between South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska in late July 2011. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured the top image on July 25, 2011. For comparison, the bottom image shows the same area a year earlier, on July 17, 2010.
These images use a combination of visible and infrared light to increase contrast between water and land. Water is navy blue. Depending on land cover, land appears green or brown. Clouds are pale blue-green and cast shadows.
In 2010, the Missouri River virtually disappears from the satellite sensor’s view along parts of its route. In 2011, the river remains visible throughout, and appears especially swollen west of Gayville, South Dakota, and south of Sioux City, Iowa.
On July 26, 2011, the Advanced Hydrological Prediction Service (AHPS) of the U.S. National Weather Service reported minor flooding near Gayville and Sioux City, and moderate flooding near Decatur, Blair, and Omaha. The AHPS also reported flooding at numerous communities downstream on the Missouri, and flooding along parts of the James River in South Dakota.