There's been some concern about flooding along the Vermilion River with river levels currently running very high and additional rain in the forecast.
Flood Warnings are posted along the river and it should be avoided at all costs.
It's worth diving into the numbers and getting a little context with those number since river forecasting is very difficult and getting it as right as possible can be vital.
As of 8:15 Thursday morning the Vermilion (at the Surrey Street gauge) was sitting at 15.05 ft, down a little from it's morning peak of 15.11 ft and showing signs of slowly falling.
As of 9:15 a.m. the forecast was expected to be right around 15.1 ft on Thursday, and while the river will stay high for a little while it will start to fall albeit slowly.
River forecasting is incredibly complicated and these numbers change very quickly, for example, while writing this very article the above graphic had to be changed because it was already outdated.
Alright the discussion is up trying to put the numbers into context. This morning the forecast for the crest shot up to 17 ft, which rightfully alarmed a lot of people.— Daniel Phillips (@DanielKATC) May 20, 2021
These models that are used to predict the rise and fall or rivers take in a variety of different factors, including both past and present precipitation and slight changes in that have big impacts down the line.
I'm not sure what the model is using as future precipitation, and to be honest the models haven't been very reliable all week to begin with so expect plenty of changes.
Don't get hung up on one particular forecast make sure that you're monitoring that forecast in real time and notice the changes.
To put some of these numbers in perspective, the highest the river got in 2016 was 17.62 ft (at this particular gauge) so being over two and half feet lower is good news.
The river is getting a slight break Thursday morning and the falling will continue, again slowly, for at least the next couple of hours as water drains to the south.
As long as we can avoid any additional deluges we will be ok as the river will only flow north if rushing water from the coulees force it that way, in that case the water could start to back up again.
This is a situation that will change quickly so for the most up to date river forecasts head to the USGS website here.
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