Recent snow could help drought or cause problems

By: Sarah Moon
By: Sarah Moon

We’re all probably getting tired of winter and all that snow out there.
But once it warms up, and the snow melts, it could cause widespread flooding around Western Wisconsin.

Wayne Peters has been farming for 60 years. He said he isn’t concerned about flooding, but hopes all of the recent snowfall will help with the drought.

“The only thing I’m afraid of is frost, I don’t know how much frost is underneath the snow or if this snow is going to go down or if it’s all going to runoff. I hope it goes down, because we’re very short of subsoil moisture, ” said Peters.

The UW Extension said there are two major factors that determine if flooding will be an issue. How soon the frost goes away, and how fast the snow and ice melt.

“Hopefully if we can absorb some of the moisture into the soils, that’s going to be some of the big question as to whether it’s going to go as surface water or runoff or is it going to end up getting into some of the soil moisture where we need it to go,” said La Crosse County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent Steve Huntzicker.

The La Crosse County Emergency Management Coordinator said right now, it doesn’t look like flooding will be an issue. But he said it’s going to depend on what happens in the next two or three weeks. Keith Butler said now is a good time to have a plan ready in case flooding happens.

“If you live along a creek or a stream that’s prone to flooding with a large amount of snowmelt, now is the time to be taking action. Two weeks from now you may be seeing water,” said Butler.

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