Weekend Thaw Could Create Sloppy Conditions, Reveal Potholes

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- After the deep freeze, the thaw soon follows creating some sloppy conditions and even some minor flooding.

National Weather Service Senior Hydrologist Jeff Zogg said they aren’t expecting anything severe.

“Mainly within bank rises and some minor flooding especially on smaller streams. I’ll have to watch out for ice jams too and those ice jams may cause some local ice flooding on our streams, especially the problem areas like the Raccoon River and the Des Moines River in the Fort Dodge area, but we really aren’t expecting anything severe this weekend,” Zogg said.

Zogg said a good amount of the snow that’s been hanging around for weeks is expected to melt.

“Where you have a deep snowpack, we probably won't lose the entire snow pack, but some areas may see return to some grassy conditions,” Zogg said.

Des Moines Public Works isn’t worried about flooding, their concerned about melted snow refreezing on roads.

“So we have traction barrels out on locations where we know those are historic locations for citizens to do self service and of course we have a 24/7 response team available through our call center that a resident can access if its a spot that is near one of those barrels,” Des Moines Public Works Director Jonathan Gano said.

Gano said they are also expecting to see hundreds of potholes revealed.

“As this frigid air retreats for a little bit, so will the frost line under the ground. We don't think of that very often, but as the cold air came in it pushed that frost line deeper than normal certainly deeper than it was earlier in the year and as that ground thaws out it will shrink a bit and that can weaken the support underneath roadways causing just normal traffic loads to break the pavement. So we are expecting a lot more potholes in the coming days and weeks,” Gano said.

If you do run into a pothole or very icy area you can call 515-283-4973 or report it on the My DSM mobile app.

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