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Rain, snow to saturate region prior to weekend wet storm moving in

Moderate to heavy rainfall forecasted, sharp rise in area streams

Rainy evening on Main Street, Grangeville

Photo by David Rauzi
Rainy evening on Main Street, Grangeville

UPDATE, Friday, April 6: 12:45 p.m. -- The National Weather Service in Missoula has issued a flood watch for portions of Central Idaho and North Central Idaho.

From Saturday morning through late Sunday night: Expect 2 to 3 inches of rain, combined with low elevation snowmelt below 5,000 Feet, which could lead to excessive runoff.

Within Idaho County, areas of concern include U.S. Highway 12 and Elk City, and other low-lying areas.

Orofino and vicinity could see a sharp rise in Orofino Creek that could lead to flooding. Other small streams across Idaho and Clearwater counties could also experience flooding issues.

Main stem rivers, such as the South Fork of the Clearwater River, could approach flood stage by Saturday evening.

Rock and landslides throughout Clearwater and Idaho counties may occur.

Large areas of standing water due to rainfall and snowmelt could be a problem in areas that still have snow on the ground, such as Elk City.

UPDATE, Thursday, April 5 -- Valley rain and mountain snow will continue for Idaho and Clearwater Counties through today (Thursday, April 5) and overnight, according to the National Weather Service Office in Missoula. This will help saturate the ground before a very wet storm system moves in Saturday and Sunday, April 7-8.

Bursts of heavy rain from convective showers will produce 2 inches or more of rain over a 36 hour period, starting Saturday morning, for areas east of the Clearwater River.

For elevations below 5,000 feet, melting snow combined with rain, will have the potential to create standing water, rock and landslides, as well as sharp rises on area streams that feed the Clearwater River.

Any towns such as Pierce and Elk City that still have snow on the ground, should expect large areas of standing water.

Highways 12 and 14, could have the potential for rockslides and increased ponding due to runoff along the road.


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