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Apr 11, 2017 5:23 PM

Warning to Plymouth State students, staff: The Pemigewasset River may flood again


PLYMOUTH — Concerns are growing that the Pemigewasset River in Plymouth may flood again Wednesday.

In February, a blockade of ice in the river downstream of Plymouth blocked water from flowing freely, causing severe flooding on and around campus.

The latest flood happened overnight and in a matter of a few hours. It stranded more than 50 cars in a Plymouth State parking lot behind the school's ice arena. Students were frustrated with the school's response, saying by the time they were notified about the flooding, it was too late to move their cars.

The area is no stranger to high waters. Gov. Chris Sununu estimated it's seen at least 50 serious flood events over the last 100 years.

MORE: Officials meet, assess damage to Plymouth area after ice jam causes NH river to flood

The last month has brought several inches of precipitation to the North Country. Very warm weather is quickly melting the snowpack, causing area rivers to rise.

While rainfall amounts of only a quarter to a half-inch of rain are expected Tuesday night and Wednesday, it may be just enough to push rivers over flood stage.

A flood watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for central and northern New Hampshire from 8 p.m. Tuesday through Wednesday night.

Plymouth State officials tell NH1 News messages were sent on Monday to all students, faculty, and staff regarding the potential for flooding. All cars were required to be removed from the affected parking lots no later than 8 a.m. Tuesday.

If there is a rapid decrease in the water level on Wednesday, the University will suspend the parking lot evacuations.

As of Tuesday evening, the Pemigewasset River was projected to reach minor flood stage by Wednesday morning. The current projected crest is 13.7 feet Wednesday; this would likely flood some of the same lots affected in February.

The National Weather Service says they have not issued a flood warning because confidence in the river's rise is not high.

NH1 News will keep monitoring the situation as the water rises overnight.

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