Weather Wise: Scratchgravel Hills susceptible to flooding

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After falling prey to the Corral Fire, another element is wreaking havoc for the Scratchgravel Hills, this time water

Lewis and Clark County Disaster and Emergency Services Coordinator, Paul Spengler, says flooding is something residents should expect.

"It takes years for soil to get back to normal."

He says the area floods so easily because the charred soil can’t absorb the water.

"Fire burns so hot it hardens the soil."

Spengler says when it rains the soil rejects the water instead of absorbing it.  He says it's like pouring water on concrete.

"The other problem is you're on a very steep slope, it's like a shoot.  So that's what causes the water to run down so rapidly causing a flash flood."

He says residents in the area can protect their property from rising waters by cleaning out basements, and clearing out culverts next to driveways.

"So the water can continue to flow down the drainage ditch rather than go up in their lawn and possibly their house if that culvert is blocked.”

Spengler says residents should also leave sandbags surrounding their homes all season long.  He says last week was a perfect example of how taking these precautions can prevent water damage.

"We did not get any reports of flooded homes when we had the flash flood last Wednesday."

While living in a recovering burn area, preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best, is a way to significantly reduce worry in the wake of another potential disaster.  And now you're a little more Weather Wise.


Story by Kelley Smith, Beartooth NBC.
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Copyright ©2013 Beartooth Communications Company. All Rights Reserved.


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Tagged as:

flooding, Paul Spengler, Corral Fire, Charred soil, area floods, flash flood, sandbags, water damage

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