COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - After at least 3 feet of snow in Branch County so far this winter, the National Weather Service says today that several factors will combine to create an increased flood risk in the area starting late next week and continuing through the end of February. NWS says the widespread snow and ice contains a large quantity of stored, generally 1 ½ to 3 ½ inches across the region. This precipitation will further add to the amount of water locked into place by the snow cover.
A thaw is also on the way with a warm-up that likely will continue into the last week of the month. The Weather Service says increased run-off atop the frozen ground will lead to a heightened potential for flooding in low lying areas, including basements and small streams and creeks. The potential for break-up and downstream movement of thick ice on rivers would also increase the risk for ice jams to develop and further the flooding risk.