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What to know for potential spring flooding

Last week’s warm weather has many people excited for spring; however, it has forecasters and emergency coordinators concerned over the potential of flooding.

The recent storm system moving through the region is giving forecasters an idea of the locations of vulnerable flood zones.

Storm systems that bring warmer temperatures and rain melt the snow at a faster rate. With record snowpack in some areas, flooding is a big concern.

“Right now, we haven’t seen any flooding but we do have a flood watch out. Especially areas south of Pocatello because there’s a lot of snow locked up out there,” a forecaster at the National Weather Service, Tim Axford, said.

South Bannock County seems to be the most vulnerable, according to forecasters and emergency coordinators.

“There’s a lot of snow down there. Pebble Creek Ski resort reported record snowfall for their year. Any rain on that snow, with 50-degree temperatures for the last week, that’s going to accelerate that snowmelt as well,” Axford said.

Down Marsh Creek Road, past Inkom, fields are covered with water. However, this kind of flooding is not from overflow from the Portneuf River. This flooding happens when the ground is still frozen from the winter. Water can’t be absorbed into the frozen soil and therefore accumulates on the service with each passing storm.

Bannock County Emergency Services Coordinator Bryant Wolfe is among a team of people who are monitoring flood risks very closely. “We are constantly monitoring this and we are constantly being vigilant because we’re here to serve them and we’re here to make a positive impact on the community,” Wolfe said.

However, it’s preparation and mitigation that is key to prevent flood damage to your home and property. The City GIS map contains FEMA flood layer information for Bannock County.

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