Although some rivers and streams overtopped their banks, and even some roads were closed where melting caused water to run over their tops, Mercer County avoided any major flood disaster this year.
Emergency Manager Carmen Reed said the concern time for flooding came Monday through Wednesday last week, after warm temperatures accelerated snowmelt. In addition, the weather caused ice jams to break near Beulah, sending water that the ice had previously held back surging downstream and joining with melt water from snow along the banks.
During the Hazen City Commission meeting Monday evening, Hazen Public Works Director Dave Brousseau said that if the streak had lasted just a little longer or come just a little faster, there might have been significant flood issues in town, notably around Antelope Creek, as well as along the Knife River south of town proper.
As it was, the flooding was just limited enough and lasted just briefly enough to only cause pockets of overland flooding.
Reed said she is not aware of any significant structural damage resulting from flooding, although she said there may be some basement flooding in rural residences (not due to rivers or streams overflowing, but simply to rapid melting in the yards and fields around the homes).
Reed added that she does not see any significant flooding for the county in the rest of the melting season, even if the county does get additional snow with the system potentially coming into the state later this week. She said the majority of the large quantity of snow from this winter season soaked into the ground, and she anticipates any additional snow doing the same.
The Mercer County Commission did approve an Emergency Declaration at their meeting last Wednesday, which enables emergency funds to be accessible if any damages are discovered resulting from spring flooding this year.
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