Flooding concerns continue as snow begins to melt

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- With Tuesday’s steady rain mixed with milder temperatures, the mountains of snow in the area are beginning to melt.

Water is over many roads throughout Eau Claire County and flooding concerns continue. "This year has been a bit unusual to be able to get this much snow in such a short period of time," said Jeff Pippenger, City of Eau Claire Community Services Director.

Unusual snow, that's expected to cause unusual flooding. "We are in the historical time of year where the snow starts to melt and go away so we do anticipate that we're going to have flooding," said Pippenger.

But this year, more than 50 inches of snowfall is still visible on the sides of many roads in the area. All that snow is covering the city's sewer storm drains. As snow turns to water, it has no place to go in many areas.

"For us we have our catch bases which is the part of our storm sewer command system that collects the water off the street located by the curb and gutter part of the street, they're covered with eight to ten inches of snow on top of them and that's becoming very difficult,” said Pippenger.

Pippenger says city officials are working hard to clear as many storm drains as they can and are asking community members to help out. "With what we're seeing today and tomorrow will be more localized urban flooding, not so much the river flooding …however it is forecasted that the river is going to come up a little bit on Saturday crested at about 767 which does meet some of our action levels with response so we will be responding ot the river stuff too this weekend."

While there aren't any current road closures in effect in Eau Claire now due to flooding --officials say its expected.

"We may have some streets that have some water that's coming out into them. My recommendation would be to slow down, if its barricaded off turn around, find a different route…when we barricade them off its usually because we could have a sink hole there and that's one of the things you don't want to get into with a vehicle,” said Pippenger.