Higher Flooding Risk than Normal Because of Melt and Rain Expected

UMD Associate Professor discusses flooding risk

DULUTH, Minn. – Flooding is common after the first big snow melt of the season.

But this year’s conditions could mean more flooding than normal.

Rebecca Teasley is an associate professor of civil engineering at UMD.

She says because the ground is still frozen, we don’t have to worry about a lot of soil erosion.

This week’s flooding is mostly expected to drown roadways with melt and rainwater.

“Typically when we have precipitation or rain, our green spaces take up a portion of that water, so they suck it up into the pores in between the grains of dirt and hold on to some of that water and will release it slowly over time. Well, the ground is frozen so now there’s ice in those voids so there’s nowhere for the water to go in the ground and so it will just flow right off,” explained Teasley.

She says because Duluth is built on a hill, water could be moving at a high velocity down and across many roadways here.

Experts warn to never drive through water over a roadway because it’s tough to know how deep the water is.

It’s recommended to dig channels through ice dams on your room and through snow in your yard so the melting snow has somewhere to go and doesn’t flood your home and basement too badly once the ground thaws.

Categories: News, News – Latest News, Weather in the News