Frozen Ground, Warmer Temperatures And Melting Snow Increase Flooding Outlook

Mar 15, 2019

Yellowstone River
Credit Kay Erickson

Warmer temperatures  expected this weekend and into next week could mean area flooding with frozen ground and melting snow.

This warmer weather can cause the snow and ice on rivers to break up and let loose, eventually backing up around bridge abutments, culverts and bends in the river, pushing water over the riverbanks.

Julie Arthur, Billings National Weather Service Meteorologist, advises people to watch these temperatures and watch these rivers carefully, and move any livestock and equipment away from the rivers.

“A good thing to do, if you can, is to remove snow from around the  foundation because basement flooding is possible as snowpack starts to melt,” says Arthur.

Another problem can occur is when water settles on the road.

She says drivers need to be careful “because you don’t know if the road underneath has given way to erosion so stay away from these big puddles on the roads.”

And these puddles can ice over at night as the temperatures drop well below freezing.

The extent of the flooding will depend on how fast this snow melts.