2019 spring flooding map

With spring finally sprung, Wallowa County’s above-average snowpack is beginning to melt. The new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Spring weather report warns that much of eastern Oregon, including Wallowa County, faces some minor risk of flooding as the weather warms.

The outlook indicates warmer than usual temperatures across the Pacific Northwest and into the Northern Rockies. That’s coupled with a forecast of average precipitation. As we all know, warmer temperatures, coupled with normal spring rainfall, could bring streams above their banks, especially if rainfall accompanies a sudden warm-up.

The NOAA’s weather prognosticators indicated that Wallowa County and adjoining regions have a greater than 50 percent chance of minor flooding. The agency defines minor flooding as “minimal or no property damage, but possibly some public threat such as road inundation.”

So, absent a major rain-on-snow event, Wallowa County should weather the spring snowmelt without a lot of inconvenience. Or so it seems if NOAA’s predictions come true.

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