WPR News
8:15 am
Mon May 12, 2008

Rivers could swell after heavy snowfall

Laramie, Wyo. – For the first time in several years, the mountains in Wyoming are still packed with snow in May.

That increases the chance for spring flooding along several rivers and streams. National Weather Service Hydrologist Jim Fahey says a combination of warm weather and rainfall would cause the snow to melt all at once.

"If you have runoff plus runoff because of rainfall, you're going to have problems," Fahey says. "You're going to have rivers that are not just touching the banks, you'll have rivers go over the top and flood where it hasn't flooded in a while."

Fahey says the Laramie River and the Platte River near Saratoga are at risk of flooding. Also, the middle fork of the Powder River is facing a similar situation.

Fahey says temperatures at lower elevations must go above 75 degrees for several days to cause extensive runoff in the mountains.

He says those conditions might occur this weekend.