More Snow in Bitterroot, More Worries About Flooding
With another three inches of snow greeting Hamilton residents Wednesday morning, March 6, the county officials are increasing their warnings about possible flooding throughout the valley when all that snow starts to melt. Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton said, "Actually, we’ve already starting looking at our plans for flooding issues. Hopefully, it’ll warm up slowly and over a period of time, and that will help a lot. If it gets really warm fast, then we’re going to have flooding… I don’t think it’s a matter of expectation, we know it’s going to happen."
Emergency Management Coordinator Eric Hoover, at last week's announcement of a county-wide emergency declaration, echoed Holton's comments. The officials are looking at a possible scenario where the ground is still frozen, yet the air temperature rises quickly, such as in a warm wind event like a chinook. The snow melts and does not soak into the ground, but flows over the top in a flood. That could happen anywhere, not just near the rivers and streams. Stay alert.