GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) For the last few years springtime flooding has been a problem in Northeast Wisconsin. So, will we face the same issue in the weeks ahead? Kris Schuller spoke with area experts and asked them about their expectations.
On Green Bay streets a spring thaw, as our winter snowpack starts to melt. An annual event that in the past has helped contribute to some springtime flooding. But according to Steve Grenier, so far – so good.
“The way things look today the city looks in very good shape as it relates to flooding right now,” said Steve Grenier from Green Bay Public Works.
Last year lots of rain in the summer helped saturate the soil. Water levels on Lake Michigan were high and when a big snowpack started to melt it created problems.
“Basically, all that water started running off and elevated all the river levels across most of the area and caused significant flooding,” said Keith Cooley from the National Weather Service in Green Bay.
But according to the NWS in their Spring Flood Outlook, this year our flood risk is lower than it’s been in two years.
“It’s pretty much normal conditions for the flood outlook for most of Northeast Wisconsin,” Cooley said.
Cooley says this year we’ve had a mild winter with below normal snowfall. And as that snow melts, so far slowly, it’s been able to drain away.
“With a near normal frost depth, most of that water will soak into the ground, instead of just running off,” said Cooley.
While the Bay is still high Cooley says it is nearly a foot below where it was last year. And Grenier says that means any water entering the East River has someplace to go.
“If there’s capacity in that receiving body it doesn’t back up the river flowing into it,” said Grenier.
Cooley says while the chance remains that winds from the northeast will push water up onto shoreline, the end results should be less severe.
“The trend is in the right direction, we’re starting to lose some of that water in Lake Michigan,” Cooley said.
“We’re in a lot better shape this year than we have been in the last several,” said Grenier.
A positive outlook for now – with spring roughly a month away.