BOISE — If you're itching to get out along the Boise River, you should hold off!
Water is running cold, high and fast, and this week water managers are increasing flows from Lucky Peak to help manage runoff into the Boise River. As of Tuesday afternoon, river flows were above 6,000 cfs, but due to a Boise Fire water rescue training issue, the Army Corps of Engineers lowered levels temporarily. Flood stage is 7000 cfs.
Dangerous river conditions are in effect currently for the Boise River as the Bureau of Reclamation continues to increase flows. The river is approaching 7000 cfs, which is flood stage, and because of that, signs warning of the river’s dangers are posted urging people to stay a safe distance from the river and its banks.
Boise Parks and Recreation said they have about three areas right now that are closed because of water over the path. All three areas are near the bank of the Boise River, including a spot in Marianne Williams Park, a section of the Bethine Church River Trail, as well as a section in West Boise near the watershed. All three are low lying areas where flooding isn't out of the ordinary, but that doesn't dismiss the concern for safety.
"It's pretty deep, the waters getting at this point in those areas that are closed and honestly, it's just not worth the risk," said Bonnie Shelton, Communications Manager for Boise Parks and Recreation, she advised people to use common sense while traveling along the Greenbelt and in all areas near the river.
It’s not just in Boise where flooding is occurring, either. The BanBury Golf Course in Eagle is seeing waters make their way to the rough of a couple of holes on the course.
The course manager isn’t too worried about the high levels as of yet, however, "This is not near as bad as it was two years ago, so if they have to let out a little more water it'll be a little bit of a challenge, but we got through it a couple years ago," said Jerry Breaux, General Manager for BanBury Golf Course.
While the Boise River is nearing flood stage, it's nothing residents haven't experienced before. But a stern reminder from boise parks and rec as levels continue to increase, "The river is dangerous, it's moving fast, it's very cold, you want to stay away from the banks, have your dog on a leash,” said Shelton.
River managers say it's important to pay attention, even if you're not getting in the water. Erosion can weaken riverbanks along the greenbelt and low lying areas in Eagle and Boise are already underwater.
For more information on closures along the Greenbelt, click here.