- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 21, 2014

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Snowmelt runoff is causing minor flooding in parts of Carbon County this week, and officials are keeping an eye on forecasts for predicted rainfall later this week that could exacerbate the situation.

County emergency management coordinator John Zeigler said Wednesday the water has only affected pastures so far around the Little Snake River at Baggs and the North Platte at Saratoga.

The Little Snake was slightly above the 8-foot flood stage mark at Baggs, while the North Platte was slightly below the 8.5-foot flood stage at Saratoga.

“The Platte is coming up some … it has reached bankfull, but no major issues,” Zeigler said.

The Little Snake is expected to hit 8.3 feet on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

However, forecasts for rain this weekend is cause for concern, he said.

“The rain on snow would concern me,” Zeigler said. “With our runoff the way it is, without too much rain, I think we’ll be OK.”

“Just depends on what the upcoming storm brings us,” he said.

Zeigler recalled that in 2010 the runoff was going smoothly until two days of rain caused flooding.

Zeigler said the county has a supply of sandbags and has been in contact with the Wyoming National Guard in case help is needed.

The snowpack in the Upper North Platte River basin is 151 percent of median - up from 71 percent at this time last year, according to the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service in Casper.

No other major rivers and streams in Wyoming reported flooding Wednesday, although the Laramie River at Laramie was running just below flood stage.

The mountain snowpack typically starts to melt in earnest later this month and continues into the summer.

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