SISSETON, SD -
As some areas in the region project flooding this spring, the northeast part of South Dakota is waiting to see how its snow melts.
A National Weather Service report released Thursday says the Fargo Moorhead area could experience one of the top five floods in city history. That’s thanks in part to the late spring.
But forecasters are saying there isn’t need for too much excitement in northeast South Dakota at this point. There’s still a lot of snow on the ground in that part of the state.
The way it melts will determine a lot.
"It's going to be a bad deal if it melts really quickly," Roberts County Emergency Manager Jim Pearson said.
Temperatures in the near future won't let that happen. But if a quick warm-up comes down the road with a lot of this snow left, Roberts County and others in the northeast would likely face overland flooding.
"And if we would get some rain with that it could cause some hardship on the township and county roads," Pearson said.
And as Pearson knows, that's something neither of those levels of government can afford.
The National Weather Service in Aberdeen is monitoring the snow. It's not projecting a lot of trouble with flooding rivers in the area but that could change depending what happens weather-wise throughout the rest of the spring. Forecasters say the chance of overland flooding is a toss-up at this point.
With snow ranging from a foot in one corner of Roberts County to almost double that in another, Pearson says he's anxiously waiting to see what happens as he hopes for the best.
"We're coming off a pretty dry fall/summer and there is a place for the water to go, just depending on how quickly or slowly we're hopeful that it does melt," Pearson said.
Pearson says frost is still deep at this point but he'll be eyeing that as well, hoping as much of the melt as possible can soak into the ground.
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