SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — We’ve seen a lot of snowfall this winter and as we’re seeing this week, it’s now starting to melt. A big question for some is, what kind of flooding will all that melting snow create?

Before we know it, all this snow will melt away. Flooding isn’t rare in southeastern South Dakota, and this spring could bring it once again.

“We do stand some higher chances of flooding simply because we have a thicker snow pack,” KELOLAND News meteorologist Brian Karstens said.

“The potential’s there, like it always is kind of every year, but maybe a little higher this year,” Minnehaha County emergency manager Jason Gearman said.

“We do have an elevated risk of flooding this spring with all of the snow that we’ve received in January, but it’s every year we have some level of flood threat or flooding here in the city, we are a river town so that’s kind of to be expected,” said Regan Smith, emergency manager with the City of Sioux Falls.

Smith says the Big Sioux River is less likely to be a source.

“Most of the heavy snows have occurred south of I-90, so for the Big Sioux we believe that’s not going to be as big a threat, but we do have a lot of snow here within the city, Skunk Creek tributaries,” Smith said.

Newer arrivals to the area may not know of the possibility.

“What we worry about is maybe some of the new people that have moved in, maybe a rental, we’ve had issues with that in the past where they just weren’t aware of what the potential was, and maybe dismissed it a little bit,” Gearman said.

A gradual thaw would be ideal.

“What we’d like to see is a nice, gradual thaw, but if we get into the seventies, for four, five days all of a sudden, we could have some problems that way if it just thaws too quick, so hopefully we’ll have the right weather,” Gearman said.

“If we end up with some storms, rain in particular would be an aggravating problem, although the rain is nice, in terms of snowfall, we don’t want to see that on top of the thick snow. We’d like to see this melt slow and steady,” Karstens said.

“If we can get temperatures where it starts to thaw slowly and not all at one time, we’ll be fine,” Lincoln County emergency manager Harold Timmerman said.

Timmerman recalls 2019 and an unfortunate possibility.

“With the amount of snow we have, the biggest hazard would be is if we get high temperatures real quick and a rain on this snow, we had this happen in 2019 and it caused flooding in areas where we’ve never had flooding before,” Timmerman said.

In the meantime, there are steps you can take.

“If you’ve got lots of snow on your roof, get rid of that, clean your gutters out, if you can, snowblow around your yard, maybe away from your house, get a path for that water to leave,” Gearman said.

“Check your sump pump, maybe get a backup sump pump in place, start looking at the drainage in their yards with their downspouts, things like that to make sure when the snow does start melting in March, that that water can make its way off of their properties,” Smith said.