Above-Average Winter Snow Leads to Spring Snowmelt Fears

A stream flowing off the side of Mount Ruapehu in spring, at the top of Taranaki Falls in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand.

May 18, 2018 — With exceptionally high snowfall across the United States and Canada during the 2017-2018 winter season, concerns about damage to homes and businesses during spring snowmelt have risen.

In Fairbanks, AK, an unusually high number of insurance claims have been made already this season. According to Fairbanks’ Web Center 11, a Financial Insurance agent in the area had seen more than 100 claims in the area in less than a month, and restoration companies are reporting higher than normal homes damaged by snow load and ice damming.

And 2,000 miles southeast in the Missoula, MT area, flooding problems have developed after far-above-average snow packs begin to melt. Earlier in May, more than 800 residents of the area were warned of possible evacuations of the area as experts feared dangerous flood waters, according to the Clark Fork Valley Press. Mountains in the area still hold more than 100 percent of the average snowpack, equal to up to 50 inches of water, which will melt and flood the area.

This week in eastern Washington state, the National Weather Service, according to the NW News Network, warned residents of the rapid snow melt that was likely to occur in response to a sudden upturn in area temperatures. Concerns over the structural integrity of a Leavenworth, WA-area dam, which might fail due to the excessive ice melt and put approximately 50 homes downstream in danger.

With temperatures across North America rising quickly, restoration companies in areas hit hard by snowfall during the winter months must stay vigilant and be prepared with equipment and staff.

Cleanfax Staff

Cleanfax provides cleaning and restoration professionals with information designed to help them manage and grow their businesses.

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