Flooding, Mudslides Possible Across Southern Idaho

Feb 13, 2014

A map of precipitation totals forecast for southwestern Idaho and southeastern Oregon. After a relatively dry day Thursday, more rain is expected Thursday night and Friday.
Credit National Weather Service

What a difference a week makes.

Last week, concern was mounting over how little precipitation had fallen in southern Idaho this winter. Now, forecasters say areas in southwestern Idaho and southeastern Oregon could see several days of flooding.

The snow and rain that's fallen in past week - combined with frozen ground and more rain in the forecast - have officials warning residents that some minor flooding could occur. Mudslides are also possible. One area of particular concern is in Elmore County, where the Elk Fire burned last summer.

Several homes north of Eagle were threatened Wednesday by some localized flooding.

Forecasters predict little rain during the day Thursday in the Treasure Valley. But another system is expected to move in overnight and bring substantial rain Friday. In Boise, there's at least a 50 percent chance of rain through Sunday morning.

Despite the threat of flooding, water managers say southern Idaho is still a long way from having a normal water supply for the summer.

Officials with the Boise Project Board of Control say the 2014 irrigation season is still expected to be shorter than normal.

“Low carryover from last year in the reservoirs and a much lower than normal snowpack for this time of year means we have three-quarters-of-an-acre-foot per acre plus any carryover from Anderson Ranch for the irrigators in the five irrigation districts in the Boise Project,” said board manager Tim Page.

Normal allotment is between two-and three-acre-feet per acre. Last year, the board says that figure was 1.4.

“However, with the storms that have come through over the last week and what is projected for the coming week we should pick up more water," Page adds. "Nevertheless, we still need to have quite a bit more snow in the mountains to have a decent irrigation season."

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