Thursday, March 9, 2017

It's official: Everyone is sick of winter

By Andrea Dell

Ask a Clearwater County resident how they're doing this week, and you'll likely get some version of "Good, but I am sick of this weather."

After a winter that brought the most snow we've had in at least 20 years, snow and rain continue to hammer us. This week has been particularly dreary, with endless rain causing ponding in city streets and some residential areas of Orofino.

The Clearwater Basin's snowpack, unsurprisingly, is above normal for this time of year. The snowpack typically melts in May and June, and that runoff is what most affects the Clearwater River. It's hard to predict what will happen, but a high river and some ponding in Orofino City Park are definitely in the realm of possibility.

Higher elevations, including Pierce and Weippe, continue to receive several inches of snow that sticks. Orofino has seen snowfall, but it always melts the same day it falls, and is a skiff or less.

The soil is saturated from all the precipitation, causing rock slides left and right. Today, trees unable to stay rooted in the soaked soil tipped onto power lines in two different locations - once at a downtown residence, and another time along Highway 12.

The section of Highway 12 between Orofino and Kamiah has seen the most rock slides, but there have also been slides on the Lewiston side of the Highway, plus on roads in the county such as Grangemont, Highway 11, and Upper Fords Creek.

What the weather has in store for residents as we move into spring remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: Clearwater County is ready for sunshine!