Will St Charles MI flood in Spring 2014?

I’ve lived in St Charles, MI since 2008. It’s a nice little town, I think. One of the features is the confluence of the North and South branches of the Bad River, pretty much right in the middle of town.

Satellite map of St Charles, MI. Note the two rivers that join up just East of M52.
Satellite map of St Charles, MI. Note the two rivers that join up just East of M52. With so much snow this Winter, and not many warm days to melt much of it, what will the river be like in the Spring?

So, it has been a pretty cold winter with what seems like a higher than typical snowfall. In the past, I’ve seen the Bad River push pretty well at its banks. Last Spring there were a few local roads that were closed because of water spilling up onto them. The storm drains can’t drain a whole lot when they are full.

Snowy street and snowbanks along driveways
A snowy street in St Charles, MI in early February 2014.

So, I don’t think this will be a record-breaking winter for snowfall amounts. My best prediction is that we’ll end up with around 40 inches this season, which is really no big deal. (And I’m no meteorologist, so don’t trust me at all on that prediction.)

But here’s what I’m wondering. If the temperatures stay cold, then not much of the snow will melt. Then, when it warms up, probably in March, a whole lot of snow will melt really quickly, and the Bad River will swell more than we’ve seen in recent years.

Will we have a more serious flooding of the Bad River? I wouldn’t be surprised.

By Davin Granroth

Davin is Chief Operating Officer for Covenant Eyes, Inc. in Owosso, MI, USA, where he gets to mix his background in user experience design, research, and strategy with the operation of a software company. For more, see his LinkedIn profile.

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