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Spring Flooding Concerns
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - If this endless winter had a mascot, it would be resident Lowell Waybill.
"I've done three driveways already," Waybill said.
He was decked out in thick winter gear all the way up to his neck, surrounded by snow, and perched on top of a thousand pound monster - a snow thrower.
"I like the snow, it gives me some exercise."
While clearing out the driveways near the Cedar River is his immediate concern, there's something that concerns him even more.
"Well have a flood within the next week....wouldn't surprise me a bit," Waybill said.
Waybill is not the only one worried.
"We worry too," said Witold Krajewski, director of the Iowa Flood Center Director at the University of Iowa.
Krajewski says the snow this year has been different, as it's been mostly dry snow.
He says that will affect how and when the snow melts.
He says melting snow isn't as big of a concern as the permafrost, the amount of frozen ground beneath the soil caused by the numerous subzero days we've had.
"If heavy rains come, the water will have no opportunity to infiltrate into the soil," Krajewski says.
It means the water goes into the rivers, and if the snow stays heavy up north, it could all contribute to rising river levels, and you could have a dangerous combination.
"We may be in trouble."
Right now, he says it's tough to make comparisons to 2008. Krajewski says we had heavy snowfall back then, but river levels normalized by spring. It was actually spring storms that doomed the area.
Even with all that chilling unpredictability in the air, Waybill says he thinks the city is prepared.
"We're all ready, let her come!"