Outlook indicates small chance for Souris River to flood

February 17, 2017 GMT

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — The latest flood outlook from the National Weather Service indicates a minimal chance for the Souris River to reach major flood stage in North Dakota or for the river to cause significant problems.

The flood outlook issued this month raised concerns because of heavy snowfalls earlier in the winter, the Minot Daily News (http://bit.ly/2lV4l7K ) reported. The outlook said there was a 25 percent chance the Souris would reach the minor flood stage, which generally happens well below the level of protection at many locations along the Souris.

Snowpack in the area is still significant and carries enough moisture to be concerning, particularly if precipitation were to occur once the melt gets underway. But the current weather outlook favors a manageable runoff, according to National Weather Service hydrologist Allen Schlag.

“It still looks to me like a real long, gentle melt season for most of North Dakota,” Schlag said. “There’s good reason to be optimistic. We’re still expecting above normal temperatures through most of next week, then more seasonal. That’s how we will start March.”

He said warm soil conditions are one of the favorable factors figured into the latest runoff outlook. With warm soil, a portion of the spring’s runoff can infiltrate it. Frozen soil with considerable frost would increase runoff because little water would be able to be absorbed.

The Souris River flooding in 2011 caused an estimated $1 billion in damage in northern North Dakota and prompted the evacuation of 10,000 people in Minot.


Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com