Current snow-pack is only two feet and is not as dense as the snow in 1996There may be some minor flooding as the mountain snow-pack from the latest storm melts and hits area rivers, but county officials aren't anticipating anything major in the wake of this storm, according to John Raichl, Clatsop County Sheriff and Emergency Services Director.

"There will probably be some isolated flooding," said Raichl. "There is going to be a rise in water levels. (But) we don't expect it's going to be a repeat of 1996."

February of that year saw one of the biggest floods in county history. Four feet of snow-pack melted all along the coast range during a warm rain storm. The Nehalem River overflowed and flooded many parts of the southeastern county, including parts of Birkenfeld, Jewel, Elsie and Vinemaple.

In comparison to that event, the current snow-pack is only two feet and is not nearly as dense, Raichl said.

The rivers that run mostly in the western and northern parts of the county, the Necanicum, Youngs and Lewis and Clark, are more tide-dominated and are not as vulnerable to flooding from runoff, Raichl said. Changes in water levels due to freshwater input, such as snow melt, are small compared to tidal influences, he said.

Temperatures are forecast to warm by 10-15 degrees in the next day or two, Raichl said, melting the snow and ice.

"It will be messy," he said. "It will be sloppy out there."


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