The Fabius River Drainage District (FRDD) Board of Supervisors is advising those who live or work in the area served by that levee system to begin making preparations to evacuate the district.
FRDD officials were advising the public of the "critical situation" that is developing after rainfall Tuesday night in the watershed was greater than had been forecast.
Even before Tuesday night's precipitation fell, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and National Weather Service (NWS) were projecting a Mississippi River flood crest of 29.5 feet on Friday, May 31.
The weather service increased the anticipated crest on Friday, May 31, to 30.7 feet, as expected by district officials.
As an added precaution, FRDD officials asked only those helping with the evacuation or participating in sandbagging to be in the area served by the district.
This marks the second time during the month of May that the public in the Fabius River basin has been advised to make preparations to evacuate.
People along the North, Middle and South Fabius Rivers were advised to make preparations to evacuate May 5, with up to 4 inches of rainfall predicted over a five-day period. Evacuations were not carried out since less rain fell than anticipated.
The North Fabius River and South Fabius River flow through Marion County in route to the Mississippi River. The Middle Fabius River joins the North Fabius River in southeastern Lewis County.
The South Fabius River near Taylor was rising Wednesday and was expected to crest at 18.9 feet on Thursday, May 30. Major flooding commences at 19 feet. The record flood crest is 20.4 feet. Flood stage is 9.5 feet.
The North Fabius River near Ewing was also rising rapidly. It is forecast to crest at 21.6 feet on Thursday, May 30. Major flooding begins at 18 feet. Flood stage is 11 feet. The record crest is 25.5 feet.
The NWS is predicting the Middle Fabius River near Ewing will reach its peak at 21.3 feet on Friday, May 31. Major flooding starts at 19.5 feet. Flood stage is 12 feet. The record crest is 26.4 feet.
The three rivers are expected to drop rapidly after cresting.