The snow that has accumulated in Greater Cincinnati over the past few weeks will have a chance to melt when temperatures reach above freezing this weekend.
While we'll all be excited about higher temperatures, homeowners with older basements around the area should brace for the consequences: flooding.
While there is a low chance that the Ohio River will flood, more people should be worried about snow melting in their own backyards.
The National Weather Service says while snowmelt is a relatively slow phenomenon, rates are usually comparable to light or moderate rainfall. Snowmelt also has a major impact on rivers in the springtime.
The Ohio River Forecast Center is not showing much potential for increased flooding around Greater Cincinnati as local snow begins to melt.
Over the next 10 days, however, the estimated chance that the river will rise above action level is 35%. The river reaches action stage at 40 feet. Minor flooding doesn't occur until 52 feet.
Here are some tips and tricks to keeping basements dry when the snow melts:
How to prevent water damage due to melting snow:
Restoration Eze suggests keeping snow away from the foundation of your home, just like keeping downspouts at a safe distance.
The company says to clear a 5-foot area around your foundation to keep the water from getting in. It also suggests testing your sump pump if you have one and fixing cracks in foundation walls.
The Old Farmer's Almanac has a list of tips to prevent flooding, but not all of them apply for snow. We weeded them out for you:
- Pointing (cementing the cracks of) an old stone foundation may help to limit the water that gets in.
- Make sure your clothes dryer is vented to the outdoors.
- Run an electric fan to help improve air movement.
- Install window exhaust fans.
- Wrap all cold-water pipes (which have a tendency to sweat) with fiberglass insulation or foam sleeves.
- Fill a couple of cloth bags (roughly the size of a grocery bag) with calcium chloride and hang them from the ceiling to absorb moisture.
The Polygon Group says residents should pay attention to local weather forecasts, especially for mention of flood warnings.
- Move the snow and clear gutters, drains and downspouts and remove excess snow from the roof, if possible.
- Secure property on lower levels or move items to a higher level. Place large equipment or items onto cinderblocks that are at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation.
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