Downed Trees Latest Concern Along Flooded Boise River

Apr 10, 2017

As the Boise River continues to rise, the risk of dead trees being swept away and collecting at bridges poses a threat. Debris can collect at water crossings and form a natural dam in minutes.
Credit ramsbee / Flickr

As the Boise River continues flowing well above flood stage, officials are watching the water for downed trees and other large debris that could prove hazardous. They’re the latest threat along the Greenbelt.

Powerful winds late last week blew seven trees into the water between Capitol Boulevard and Americana in Boise that had to be fished out. The fear is toppled trees could collect at bridges, form natural dams and cause even more flooding along the swollen river.

A spokesman for the Ada County Highway District told KTVB serious flooding incidents due to debris can happen quickly. He said in some cases it’s only a matter of minutes before downed trees and branches accumulate and form a dam.

The riverbanks are being monitored for at-risk trees by a team of agencies including: parks and recreation departments, emergency responders, forestry departments and transportation officials.

Large sections of the Greenbelt remain closed in Boise, Garden City and Eagle due to the swift and high river. The Army Corps of Engineers plans to increase the flow of the river again this week in an effort to prevent even worse flooding later in the season as melting snow in the mountains makes its way downstream into already strained reservoirs.

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