Four feet of snow equals roughly 672,000 acre feet of snowpack

Mike Bellmore, Features Editor
Snow depths vary greatly in the Lake Region, but major flooding problems are expected this spring.

On an average, there’s nearly four feet of snow spread around locations in the Lake Region.

That’s according to Jeff Frith, manager of the Devils Lake Basin Joint Water Resource Board.

“I?think that figure is pretty typical around the area,” says Frith. “And it’s early in the winter yet.”

Frith says the snow levels are well ahead of last winter, and the water equivalent of the snow right now is anywhere between 4 and 7 inches.

And that’s bad news for folks around the Lake Region.

Frith says there’s 672,000 acre feet of snowpack in the Lake Region.

And in March of 2009, there was 776,000 acre feet of snowpack in the Lake Region.

With the early, heavy snow, there’s a good chance the 2009 mark could be met or surpassed in coming months.

“I?think we could easily get another 100,000,” adds Frith. “There’s over two months left.”

Frith says those types of numbers lie behind the decision of Governor Jack Dalrymple to declare a state of emergency and request a presidential emergency declaration this week.

Frith says people in the area should start preparing themselves for coming problems by making themselves aware of their homes, roads and seepage.

He’s encouraging people to have safety and precautionary measures in place as spring nears.

“A level of 1455 is not out of the realm of possibility,” notes Frith. “We should remember this lake went up 3 and one-half feet in 2009, and a rise of that magnitude would push us beyond 1455. And that’s a scary number.”

It’s a number that could adversely affect some city measures as well.