National Weather Service warns of above-normal risk for flooding

MADISON, Wis. – The rest of the snow may have melted over the weekend, but rain in the forecast this week has many wondering if the spring flooding outlook has changed.

According to the National Weather Service, the short term is looking better than it was a couple of weeks ago. That’s because the snow was able to melt before any rainfall, but now with multiple chances for rain this week, that leaves a lot of uncertainty.

Sarah Marquardt is a senior service hydrologist with NWS. She tells News 3 Now there is still an above normal risk for flooding in all of southern Wisconsin in the coming weeks.

In 2019, we saw the wettest year on record and the ground is still so saturated from that. Because we received so much snow this winter, this is only the beginning.

Marquardt says it’s not just rural areas that need to keep watch this spring, even low areas in urban communities could see flooding.

“Anyone is at risk with this flooding,” Marquardt said. “It’s just a matter of who gets the heavy rain and how much rain there is, but anywhere where that water starts to pond up there’s that risk of flooding.”

Because the uncertainty remains high, emergency management directors from across the area say you should be preparing now before it’s too late. That means thinking about flood insurance, sandbags, sump pumps, or elevating things in your basement if you typically see any moisture coming through.