March 04, 2019 10:04 AM
The massive amount of snow this winter could turn into flooding this spring, and forecasters predict that changeover could happen quickly.
In New Ulm, where the Minnesota and Cottonwood Rivers merge, officials are gearing up for the challenge.
The winding rivers are prone to ice dams, and the area has also seen significant snowfall - roughly 60 inches this year.
"I'm pretty sure the sandbags are already here," New Ulm Mayor Robert Beussman said. "I'm pretty sure the sand is not all being used out on the street."
More from KSTP
Beussman said a new berm along the Minnesota River protecting homes has only been up a few years, and this year could prove challenging.
"This will be another test," he said. "Probably the supreme test. I'm assuming everybody is preparing right now for the worst."
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Meteorologist Jonathan Yuhas said a quick warm-up would be an issue for New Ulm and many other river communities.
"We're having record snowfall," Yuhas said. "So we're getting into unprecedented territory here where we're likely going to see some flooding because all of this snow will start to melt rapidly as temperatures get warmer."
Flood insurance can be purchased to protect a home or business. According to FEMA, just an inch of water in your home can cost more than $25,000 in damage.
It's why FEMA recommends the National Flood Insurance Program.
It usually takes 30 days from the time of purchase for a policy to go into effect.
Updated: March 04, 2019 10:04 AM
Created: February 21, 2019 04:56 PM
Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company