BISMARCK – Residents and businesses across North Dakota are still clearing snow, after the historic storms of late 2016, and early January. However, after the hardship this winter weather has brought us, we still have to brace ourselves for the impending floods this spring.
Heavy snowpacks surrounding cities located by rivers, such as Fargo, Minot, and Jametown, have a limited amount of time to prepare, as warmer weather and sunshine slowly begins to creep in.
Massive floods have destroyed many areas along the Red River, Missouri, Souris River, as well as the Knife River and James River over the last decade, with very little time after snow cleanup, to sandbag and hold flood plains.
Governor Doug Burgum even warned protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline in his State of the State address of the risk, “..the main protest camp is located directly in the floodplain of the Cannonball-Missouri River confluence. Given the snowfall we’re having this winter and historic data on the Cannonball River, that camp will likely flood in early March.”
However, weather observers in the area caution that it may not be as disastrous as predicted, depending on conditions, such as water levels, soil conditions, and how fast the snow melts in the spring.
“It is absolutely not a slam dunk that we’re going to see widespread flooding on any river basin, whether it’s the Souris River Basin, or the Heart, or the Cannonball, or the Knife River- none of them have a guaranteed flood,” said Allen Schlag with the National Weather Service in Bismarck. “What we still have is plenty of time to see this very impressive snow pack disappear to sublimation, or in the springtime, maybe we’ll have a melt condition where we see it run off very slowly over the course of two or three weeks, as opposed to two or three days.”
Everyone is encouraged to be prepared none the less, following our recent history with flooding in the last decade. Please bookmark this page for future flood information: National Weather Service North Dakota Flooding
[Filed by Piper Combs]