St. Paul (Learfield News Service) - National Weather Service chief forecaster Dan Luna tells top state and federal officials that Minnesota rivers statewide will see significant flooding likely by the last week in March.

Luna says conditions will be worse if there's a quick snow melt, and "terrible" if there's significant rain. He says even with a perfect, slow snow melt river levels are going to be high because the soil's been very wet for a long time. Luna predicts the potential for significant flooding all the way into May and perhaps the summer.

With serious spring flooding possible, Governor Tim Walz is urging the legislature to quickly replenish the state's Disaster Assistance Fund, which is currently depleted. The governor says "that's the money that we use to pre-position the sandbags and some of the different things, so it just would be prudent for us. It's ten-million dollars that needs to go into that. It's really important we have that now, because we're already working on this." Walz was briefed by state and federal officials Friday as preparations continue for significant spring flooding.

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