Boise Rivers flows to increase; much of greenbelt still closed

Posted at 5:55 PM, May 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-14 20:05:51-04

Boise River flows will increase by 300 cubic feet per second on Monday.

An additional 300 CFS will be released to alleviate pressure on dams come Tuesday.

Amid the expected historic levels at 9,500 CFS this week, homeowners should know that disaster response teams are standing by.

With flooding already wreaking havoc in several Idaho counties, the American Red Cross is urging those in the water's path to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. This includes downloading the Code Red App through the Ada County's website. This way you can receive alerts immediately on your phone. Also, officials encourage people to have an evacuation kit and, in doing so, keep your pets and livestock in mind. They also say it's important to have an exit plan in place.

"They should also have those discussions [on their evacuation plan], especially with children in order to decrease fear of the situation," says Chris Volmer, a disaster program manager for the American Red Cross. "Having a plan helps people remain calm in the worst situations."

The red cross's disaster response teams are currently standing by across the Gem state. In the event of a flooding evacuation, they would provide shelter and medical care for those displaced. Information on what to do next would also be available on site.

The potential threat of flooding along the Boise River could last through mid-Summer, which is tough for people who like to spend their days outside on the greenbelt.

Luckily, one Boise family lives close to one of the few sections not blocked off due to flooding.

"I don't want the greenbelt to be flooded, animals are wiped out and so are plants," says 10-year-old Collette Kawamura. "Everything is closed, and it's not fun."

Knowing it's for their own safety, they're making the best of the situation like many other faithful greenbelt users. They already look forward to the day it re-opens.

"We're not sure how far we're going to go but we'll be going as far as we can," says Stella Kawamura, Collette's mother, on their first day out on the greenbelt this Spring.

Most of the greenbelt is still closed in Ada County and will be for another 45-60 days. Officials are urging visitors to follow all greenbelt detours until further notice.