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View Full Version : America’s next disaster: Multiple floods in Western states as monster snowpacks melt



megimoo
05-23-2011, 07:39 AM
It's been one long series of natural disasters this year--and now it looks like another is on the way. The focus may soon be shifting from the epic flooding in the Mississippi Valley to Westwern states where enormous winter snows have piled up on mountain ranges.

More than 90 sites from Montana to New Mexico and California to Colorado have record snowpack totals on the ground for late May. This has been caused by a winter marked by blizzard and an unusually cold and wet spring. Now there is a very real fear of localised flooding at those sites as
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The state’s aging levee system has long been a source of concern, with fears of large-scale failures that could leave Sacramento, the state capital, vulnerable to a Hurricane Katrina-scale flood.

The worries are heightened this year by the deep snows in the Sierra Nevada, where some ski spots around Lake Tahoe saw more than 60ft this season.

At Flaming Gorge Reservoir on the Green River in Utah, federal managers have begun spilling water downstream in readiness for the rising waters.

In the Wasatch Mountains outside Salt Lake City, where the Alta Ski Resort still has about 200 inches of snow, cool temperatures have kept snowpacks from crossing what hydrologists call the isothermal barrier — 32 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the snowmass — which allows gradual melting from the bottom.

Last week alone there was three feet of snow.

In sparsely-populated Wyoming, emergency officials are worried about tiny communities that in many cases are far from help if rivers surge.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1389891/America-s-disaster-Western-floods-snowpacks-melt.html

Gingersnap
05-23-2011, 10:22 AM
I wouldn't say we are panicked out here or anything. Yes, the pack is really deep and still frozen this year but we have much better early warning systems now than we had back in the early 80s.

The rafting is going to be freaking awesome this year. :D