Annual snowmelt is beginning throughout the region. When temperatures rise above 20 degrees and it remains warm for a few days, freshet or spring snowmelt starts.
Above average snow packs indicate that spring runoff could be vigorous and may last for many weeks. Localized flooding may occur which has the potential to affect any number of areas, including individual properties and homeowners.
Freshet can become a problem when winter snow packs melt rapidly, overwhelming stream channels and creating floods. Spring freshet can also destabilize soil and rock and cause unpredictable mudslides, landslides and rock slides
Know the Risks.
Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
Stay at least 3m (10ft) back from any fast flowing creeks or rivers.
Keep a close watch on children even if they are far from the water. Water safety for children is especially important as they can quickly enter the water due to curiosity and get in trouble when your attention is diverted for only a moment.
Property owners have a window of dry, sunny weather for the next few days to assess their properties and prepare. This is the opportunity for those living in vulnerable areas, on or near floodplains, or those who have experienced spring flooding in the past to be ready. If you sandbagged your property adjacent to creeks, streams or waterways in prior years, you may want to be prepared again this year.
Groundwater can be unpredictable. If property owners have historically experienced wet basements or seepage, they should prepare accordingly. Suggestions include installing a sump pump inside, below floor, or outside the structure, below basement level, at the location of seeping and/or making sure foundation drains (if present) are working.