Does Mild Winter Mean More Flooding?

By Andrea Michalenicz

February 10, 2012 Updated Feb 10, 2012 at 6:50 PM EST

(WBNG Binghamton) The mild winter allows many people with flood damage to keep moving ahead with rebuilding projects.

But what it could mean for Spring flooding?

Susan Riha, director of the New York State Water Resources Institute, says a study was conducted to find out. The results showed the biggest stream flows generally come in late winter and early spring--regardless of snow pack--when the soils are wet from rainfall.

"You can occassionally get really high river flows when you have a large snow pack and it melts extremely rapidly, but that only happens, maybe, 20 percent of the time in most places in New York State," says Riha.

This means that the chances of flooding this spring will only be reduced by a little bit, assuming the mild pattern does not break.

It's also important to note that the 2006 and 2011 floods occurred during the summer, when there was no snow pack.