Flooding a Concern for Upcoming Weekend and Beyond

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- A warmer forecast means that there are flooding concerns for metro residents.

“We're all excited for it to get warm and for spring to get here quickly, but we don’t want spring to get here too quickly,” said Polk County Emergency Management Director AJ Mumm.

With near-record moisture levels in the ground and a 21-inch frost depth, any rain Iowa gets over the weekend or any quick snow melt will have nowhere to go.

“Not expecting a lot of major changes in our river levels, but the street flooding and other things could be a problem,” said Mumm.

Mumm says in the short term we won’t see any flooding like the summer of 2018, but a road closure here and there isn't out of the question.  What's more concerning is the long-term flood watch from March until May. The latest forecast from the National Weather Service shows the Des Moines River and the Raccoon River with around a 50 percent chance for moderate flooding.

“When we get into the moderate flooding and major flooding then we start to see some impacts that are beyond the inconvenience where we have some encroachment of water onto major thoroughfares and to homes and businesses,” said Mumm.

Deb Tritch is one Des Moines resident who is hoping to avoid the flooding. She says the levees built by her home north of the city have done a good job at preventing the waters from reaching her horse stables.

“We keep an eye on the flood waters because if the flood waters come up into the pastures, we'll have to get them to higher ground. We haven't had to recently since the corps of engineers have redone everything,” said Tritch.

Nevertheless, Tritch knows she can’t get too nonchalant about it.

“We watch that snow melt. We'll be watching this weekend as it rains and as the snow melts and what comes down into Saylorville. We'll be watching the reservoir to see how quickly it fills up,” she said.

Mumm says those considering buying flood insurance should do it sooner rather than later, as most policies have a 30-day waiting period before coverage starts.

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