Lucky Peak

Danny Laroche / Flickr

The Army Corps of Engineers is seeking input from the public on a proposed new bike trail at Lucky Peak Dam and Lake.

The 15-mile mountain bike trail would start along the southern shore of Lucky Peak near Lydle Gulch and stretch to the area around Chimney Rock.

The Statesman reports the trail would be designated for multi-use and open to more than just mountain bikers. Horseback riders, hikers, birders and picnickers would all be welcome to utilize the proposed pathway.

Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

It’s Mid-May, I’m at the Boise airport, hopping in a Cessna with pilot Don Reiman and Kevin Lewis, the director of Idaho Rivers United. We’re going to “fly the flood,” to see what the swollen rivers and reservoirs look like from the air, especially along the Boise and Big Wood rivers.

There has been months of flooding on Idaho rivers, with a reservoir system that’s been straining at capacity, as the deep winter snowpack has slowly melted off. Now, in the second half of June, the floodwaters are receding.

Don sketches out the flight path.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Boise River, which has been over flood stage for months, will drop below that level Thursday. The river has dropped dramatically this week.

The Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been dropping the amount of water released into the river all week. The river started dropping over the weekend, then fell 500 cubic feet per second on Tuesday and 1,000 cfs on Wednesday.

It will drop another 500 cfs Thursday morning. That will drop the river level at the Glenwood Bridge to 6,750 cfs, that brings it below flood stage which is 7,000 cfs.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

As long as significant rain doesn’t fall this weekend, the amount of water flowing into the Boise River could begin going down next week. But before that happens, officials are asking people to closely monitor things in case flooding gets worse.

Warmer weather this week has pushed Lucky Peak Dam to 88 percent capacity, while the upstream Arrowrock and Anderson Ranch Reservoirs are 98 and 99 percent full.

Boise Police Department

The Boise River is rising again, to what officials say will be the highest levels so far this year.

Flows from the Lucky Peak Dam will go up Friday morning. An additional 500 cubic feet per second of water will be released. That will bring the flow to 9,300 cfs at the Glenwood Bridge gauge. That’s the highest flow this Spring since officials started pushing more and more water through the river to make room for melting snow in the mountains above Boise.

Boise Police Department / Twitter

Idaho Governor Butch Otter says residents facing possible springtime flooding aren't taking seriously what he calls a potential disaster.

Otter made a plea Wednesday for people to pay closer attention to the situation on the flooded Boise River.

“We’ve got to get the word out that this is a disaster waiting to happen. We don’t need people to add to it by getting on the river or getting on the river banks,” said Otter.

Boise River, Flooding
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will release even more water from Lucky Peak Dam next week, up to 8,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) by Wednesday. Flood stage is considered to be 7,000 cfs, and was reached a month ago. Before they do that, a team led by engineers from the federal agency in Washington will help put up a levee to protect parts of Ada County near Eagle Island.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Boise River will hit flood stage this week as officials try to make room in reservoirs for more rain and snowmelt.

The river will go up a little bit Monday, 250 cubic feet per second, and again Tuesday, which will bring flows to 7000 cfs. That’s considered flood stage as measured by the Glenwood Bridge gauge.

That means more sections of the Greenbelt along the river, some of which are already underwater, will be flooded. Minor flooding is expected on Eagle Island and other low spots along the river. And river bank erosion could become an issue.

Ada County Sheriff's Office

The Ada County Coroner's Office says the three children killed in a crash into Lucky Peak Reservoir Thursday morning died of a combination of blunt force trauma and drowning.

The office released the identities of the four victims Friday morning. The dead are 40 year-old Noel J. Voermans, 13-year-old Anika Noel Voermans, 11-year-old Logan R. Voermans and 8-year-old Gwyneth G. Voermans. 

Update, 4:06 p.m.: The Ada County Sheriff's Office says the SUV and the bodies of a woman and three kids have been brought to the shore. The driver was a 40-year-old woman and in the car were three children: a girl age 12, a boy age 10 and a girl age six.

Witnesses said it appeared to have been a deliberate act, though that part of the incident is still under investigation. Boise Fire is working on recovering while Ada County Sheriff's Office is investigating the crash.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

A good year of snow and cold weather in the mountains has given water managers throughout the state some much-needed good news. Right now, the threat of drought seems distant. 

 

water, boise river
Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Flow in the Boise River set a record low this week. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, flow Thursday at the Glenwood bridge on Boise’s west side was the lowest ever recorded on May 8. 

water, boise river
Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Those managing water flow in the Boise River Basin say they plan to keep the river at its current level for the foreseeable future.

The river is been flowing at roughly 1,800 cubic feet per second at the Glenwood Street bridge in Boise.  The flow last week was around 300 cfs and then increased steadily over the weekend.

Snake River Area Office Water Operations Manager Brian Sauer says the outflow at Lucky Peak reached 1,800 cfs for the first time this season at 8 a.m. Monday.  Flood level is 7,000 cfs.