Officials Say More Flooding A Sure Thing In Blaine County

May 22, 2017

Hailey was hit hard by flooding earlier in the spring as the Big Wood River swelled to well over a foot above flood stage. Officials caution the community and surrounding areas aren't out of the woods, as plenty of snow has yet to melt.
Credit Blaine County Sheriff / Facebook

Officials in Blaine County are telling residents water levels in the Big Wood River will rise again.  

Cooler temperatures and a momentary reprieve from flooding in the Wood River Valley are being called “the eye of the hurricane.” Speaking to a group at the Community Campus, Hailey City Councilman Don Keirn invoked the imagery while reminding people there's still plenty of snow yet to melt in the mountains.

Elected officials throughout Blaine County were joined by personnel from the National Weather Service to provide a forecast of the next river flow peak. Earlier this month, the Big Wood River topped out at 7.82 feet in Hailey and caused flood damage across the region. The waters have since receded below five feet.

According to the Idaho Mountain Express, Travis Wyatt – a meteorologist with the weather service – predicts with almost 100 percent surety water in the Big Wood will peak again. He projects the waterway will swell between May 29 and June 11. He says there's a 5 percent chance of the biggest peak coming in mid-June, should the weather remain cool.

Flood stage of the Big Wood River comes at 6 feet. The weather service says there's a 30 percent chance the river will again crest above 7 feet in early June. They say there's a slim 5 to 10 percent chance flooding would be even worse in a June event than in recent weeks.

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