Wed, June 26

More floods? What to expect this weekend
Local Verde River expert says additional flooding isn't likely

VVN/Vyto Starinskas

VVN/Vyto Starinskas

While tonight's temperatures are expected to dip into the teens, the rest of the weekend is forecast to be clear skies with highs in the 50s and 60s. This trend is forecast to continue into next week.

February was a month of intense flooding along the Verde River in addition to the heavy snowfall that blanketed the Verde Valley Thursday and Friday.

The Colorado Basin River Forecast Center reported peak flows on the Verde River in Camp Verde rose 50,000 cubic feet per second.

Last week’s flooding on the Verde River in Clarkdale knocked out part of a 105-year-old dam. Flood waters also destroyed a pond levee that helped divert water to Pecks Lake, according to Clarkdale Mayor Doug Von Gausig.

So the question is: Should we expect more floods?

Local river expert John Parsons (aka Mr. Verde River) said because there is no "rain-on-snow" forecast this week, additional flooding isn't likely. Parsons has been studying flows of the Verde River and its tributaries for 38 years.

"Next week's high temperatures in the 50s and possibly 60s will bring down the low elevation snow and at least some of the mid-elevation snow," he stated in a public Facebook post. "Freezing overnight low temperatures will keep the high-elevation snow intact."

Parsons said the river water levels and its tributaries depend on the rate of melt of the low and mid-elevation snow.

"Odds are pretty good that the snow will come off in an orderly, polite and civil manner with no problems," he said.

However, there are some historical precedents that say otherwise, according to Parsons.

"If it comes off faster than expected, high water is likely," he said. "Will that that high water translate to flood levels? Probably not."