Emergency management upbeat about area's spring flood outlook - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Emergency management upbeat about area's spring flood outlook

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MADISON, Wisconsin (WKOW) -- All the snow present on area streets has to melt sometime.

But Tod Pritchard, Preparedness Coordinator with Wisconsin Emergency Management, said he's so far not too worried about spring flooding.

"Looking at the long-term forecast, it looks like we're going to have a gradual warm up," he said. "We're not going to have a sudden thrust of warm air, hot air, that's suddenly going to melt all the snow," Pritchard added.

He said current conditions, of slightly warmer than freezing temperatures during the day and below-freezing temperatures at night, are good for gradually melting snow.

Although he added the spring flooding forecast can often change "at the drop of a hat."

"The worst case scenario is... we have a sudden burst of warm air coming in," Pritchard said. "Or we have a sudden burst of rain."

Pritchard said the only area that appears prone to flooding based on current forecast models is the Wisconsin River near Portage. He said that area is looking at a 94% chance of "minor flooding."

The latest, spring flood forecast from the National Weather Service will be released Thursday.

Pritchard said those concerned about floods this spring should consider buying flood insurance. He said now is the ideal time to buy coverage because the insurance takes 30 days to take effect. Plans bought now would kick in during the month of April.

"Some people think if we get a big flood, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will come sweeping in here and give us a bunch of money," Pritchard said. "It just doesn't work that way."

"It would have to be a major, major disaster for FEMA to come in," he said.

Pritchard said those interested in buying flood insurance should visit the website floodsmart.gov, which offers cost-estimates on plans and further information on how to buy the insurance.
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