FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Bob Chartuk
Heavy snowfall as far south as North Carolina and Virginia and frigid temperatures throughout the northeast have increased the chance of flooding from snow melt and ice jams, the National Weather Service said today.
"With above normal temperatures forecast for the weekend, heavy snows from North Carolina all the way up through the mid-Atlantic are expected to melt and increase the chance for river and stream flooding," said Laurie Hogan, hydrologist in the NWS Eastern Region.
"An additional worry for the northern states is flooding caused by river ice piling up at shallow areas, bends and islands and blocking the flow of water," Hogan said.
Of particular concern in North Carolina, which received a record 20 inches of snow, are the Neuse and Tar Rivers, as well as the Lumber River, which is already in flood. Rivers of concern for Virginia include the James and Appomattox.
In Pennsylvania, New York, and all of New England, up to a foot of river ice is now reported, with Maine and New Hampshire experiencing ice ranging from one to two feet. Minor ice jam flooding has already been reported in various locations throughout Pennsylvania, New York, and Vermont with more expected as temperatures warm.
"Historically, the most devastating winter floods have been associated with a combination of heavy rainfall, rapid snow melt, and/or ice jams," Hogan explained. "With the above normal temperatures expected by the weekend, the threat of floods due to both snow melt and ice jams will be above normal for the next two weeks in areas of the East."
Weather Service River Forecast Centers
Forecast Offices will continue to monitor and forecast the
2000 winter/spring flood potential and will issue public updates
every two weeks through April.