City Provides Information About Springtime Flooding

The heavy snowfall during the winter of 2010-11 has resulted in an increased concern for potential springtime flooding throughout Minnesota, and the City of Golden Valley is taking measures to be prepared. Activities include preparation of sandbags to protect public streets and structures, mapping of flood prone areas, meeting with emergency management staff, and development of communication efforts.

According to the Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission (BCWMC), with the exception of flood levels in Medicine Lake, the overall risk of snowmelt-related flooding is low in the Bassett Creek watershed. A snowmelt with 6 inches of runoff over a 10-day period, or a 9-inch runoff over a 30-day period, result in similar flood levels as the 1 Percent Flood (also known as the 100-year flood). While there is a concern for snowmelt flooding, the greatest potential for springtime flooding would occur if a moderately heavy to heavy rainfall occurred during the snowmelt.

Based on a BCWMC study of snowmelt runoff when the flood control project was designed in the mid 1980s, an urbanized watershed such as Bassett Creek is typically more susceptible to flood from short duration, high intensity rainfalls associated with thunderstorms. The study compared flood levels for snowmelt events to flood levels resulting from summer rainfall events with a 1 percent probability of occurrence.

Additional snow or rainfall in the next several weeks or during the snowmelt would increase runoff and raise flood levels. Also ice in the creek channel and in culverts can increase flood levels upstream of crossings and storm sewer outlets.

Assess Your Risk, Then Prepare

To learn if your home or business is at risk for flooding this spring, go to www.floodsmart.gov and input your address into the Flood Risk Profile. The website also provides basic information about flood insurance in your area. Keep in mind that flood insurance policies are not activated until 30 days after the premium is paid in full.

Taking a photo inventory of your building and its contents will help properly document your assets in case of a flood. Checklists are available at the Minnesota Department of Commerce website.

If you have questions regarding flood insurance, contact the Minnesota Department of Commerce at 651-296-2488 or go to www.commerce.state.mn.us.

You can also get more detailed information about flooding from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Protecting Your Property

The City of Golden Valley’s primary responsibility during floods is protecting its public infrastructure, such as streets, sanitary sewer lift stations, and other facilities. Property owners are responsible for protecting their homes and businesses.

To purchase sand bags, check with the businesses listed below. They may also be available at home improvement and hardware stores near you. To obtain sand to fill the bags, contact landscaping companies or sand and gravel suppliers (check the Yellow Pages or online to find these companies).

Berg Bag
410 3rd Ave N
Minneapolis, MN  55401
612-332-8845 (day and evening)

North Star Packaging
(has several public warehouses)
952-249-0661
After hours: Scott Lindgren, 218-779-8249

Jacobs Trading Company
8090 Excelsior Blvd
Hopkins, MN  55343
763-843-2029
763-843-2045
After hours: 612-719-3698 or 651-276-4415

To properly deal with a flooding or drainage problem, first determine its source by asking these questions.

This entry posted in | Physical Development