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Runoff, snow packs causing concern heading into Flood Watch

(KTIV) –  Siouxland could see over two inches of rain this week, and minor to moderate flooding is possible.

Most of Siouxland is under a Flood Watch from Wednesday morning through Thursday night.

The watch follows fears of significant and rapid river and stream level increases because of runoff.

There’s also the potential for ice jams to cause flooding.

Smaller rivers in northwest Iowa have the highest potential of flooding according to the National Weather Service.

“If we do get two and a half inches of rain, with 48 to maybe as many as 60 hours of temperatures above freezing, the combination of those two things is really going to eat away at this snowpack and cause it to start melting and running off,” said Mike Gillispie, Hydrologist at the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls.

The rain we are expecting, as well as the warmer temperatures, aren’t out of the ordinary for Siouxland in the month of March.

But the big concern is over the snowpack that’s built up over the winter.

“The last four to eight weeks, mid-January through the end of February, early March, the snowpack really built up. We didn’t see any melting at all through that period, because of the cold temperatures. That is kind of the driving force of things right now,” said Gillispie.

Gillispie suggests making sure your storm drains are clear, and that the drain spouts on your home have a clear path to the street.

Leslie London

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