SHELDON—Pools of standing water could be found on some streets, yards and even inside the aisles of Shopko Hometown in Sheldon early in the day on Saturday, March 9.
The Highway 18 adjacent retailer was one of many places in the community impacted by the rain turned snow that washed across N’West Iowa throughout the early parts of the day Saturday.
Brad Temeyer, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service office in Sioux Falls, SD, said the wet weather is part of a strong low-pressure system working its way through the region.
“The reason for the change in precipitation type is driven more by temperatures above the surface, so as the temperature is sort of drawing cooler air into the region you saw that change from rainfall to snow,” he said.
Collectively, he does not see more than an inch of precipitation falling in Sheldon on Saturday. However, due to the massive amounts of snow already on the ground is why parts of the community are seeing flooding.
“Part of the problem is we’ve had a lot of snow and we have a lot of snow on the ground currently and that snow is actually blocking storm drains, so with the rain we got this morning, it really has nowhere to go,” Temeyer said. “That’s causing a lot of localizing ponding of the water and contributing to the flooding problem.”
The other issue is that the ground is still frozen. Temeyer did not have Sheldon-specific data but noted the ground is frozen at least two feet deep in Sioux Falls and says it is likely about the same in the O’Brien County community of about 5,200.
“Water can’t penetrate the surface, so it spreads out because it has nowhere else to go,” Temeyer said.
Like the precipitation falling from the sky, Temeyer also gave a mixed forecast for the rest of the weekend.
“Conditions should gradually improve through the day, but we are looking at freezing temperatures nearing into the evening and into the overnight and even into Sunday,” he said. “But, then there is a second system on the horizon that you want to keep an eye on.
“Tuesday night through Thursday, expecting another system that may bring a significant amount of moisture.”