All The Snow May Lead To Flooding Across Idaho

Jan 5, 2017

Idaho’s Office of Emergency Management is warning of possible flooding around the state, thanks to recent winter storms.

The Idaho Emergency Operations Center is now at the level of Heightened Awareness. That means the threat level is moderate and could develop into a state-level emergency disaster.

Officials are watching the Lemhi River, Big Wood River and the Snake River at Weiser, all of which have ice jams and minor flooding. Ice jams occur when shallow areas of the river freeze faster than deeper spots and the ice gets stuck around bends and curves.

Lemhi County already has minor to moderate flooding near the Salmon River north of Salmon. The Snake River above the American Falls reservoir is also at high risk.

And future flooding is a worry, with temperatures expected to go above freezing Sunday. Significant snow followed by rapid thawing could lead to swollen rivers, as well as backed-up storm drains in urban neighborhoods.

In 1997, melting snow led to flooding and a statewide Presidential Disaster Declaration.

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