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Corps to begin snow surveys in preparation for spring melt

Published March 5, 2018
two men survey snow

CANNON FALLS, Minn. -- Shahin Khazrajarari, left, Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District project manager, and Farley Haase, Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District survey technician, conduct snow surveys near the Cannon River in Cannon Falls, Minn., Feb 28, 2011. The district conducts the surveys to help determine what the snow water equivalent, or how much water, is located within the snowpack.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A team with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, will begin collecting snow surveys throughout the region March 6 – 12. 

The team is taking the surveys to assist Corps’ water management officials in determining how much water is contained within the snowpack this year. This information is shared with other agencies such as the National Weather Service and the U.S. Geological Survey and helps determine what steps can be taken to reduce flood threats across the region.

The team will begin in Forest Lake, Minnesota, and make a counterclockwise trip around the region. This area includes western Wisconsin, northern Minnesota and eastern North Dakota. Additionally, Corps of Engineers park rangers will be taking snow surveys in the Mississippi River Headwaters region.

The process for collecting snow surveys is relatively straightforward. It involves going to a predetermined location and collecting snow through a tube. The snow is then measured for its weight, and the water content is determined by converting the weight with mathematical formula.

The nearly 600 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, employees working at more than 40 sites in five upper-Midwest states serve the American public in the areas of environmental enhancement, navigation, flood damage reduction, water and wetlands regulation, recreation sites and disaster response. Through the St. Paul District Fiscal Year 2016 $78 million budget, nearly 1,250 non-Corps jobs were added to the regional economy as well as $120 million to the national economy. For more information, see www.mvp.usace.army.mil.


Release no. 18-017