Flooding leads more Idaho counties to enter State Disaster Declaration

Posted at 10:09 PM, Feb 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-12 00:09:29-05

The Gem State has been hit hard by Mother Nature. First the pummeling snow, and now a fast melt causing flooding. On Saturday, Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter declared State Disaster Declarations for Cassia, Minidoka, Twin Falls and Washington Counties.The Idaho Office of Emergency Management says 17 out of 44 counties have some sort of disaster declaration in place.

"Because of the sheer number of counties involved right now in snow or flooding related issues, there is a lot of coordinating efforts going on to make sure we are providing them with the resource they need when they need it," said Elizabeth Duncan with the Idaho Office of Emergency Management.

At the Idaho Emergency Operations Center at Gowen Field, it's all hands on deck. They are operating at level II. Meaning they're working seven days a week to coordinate with county leaders to make sure state resources get to where they need to go.

"It could be a front end loader, it could be a dump truck it could be public information assistance all those are being made available to local jurisdiction," explained Duncan.

With a lot of snow on the ground left to melt, emergency leaders know the battle is far from over.

"We're trying to look down the road as well to the challenged that could come about then," said Duncan.

One of the concerns of emergency management leaders have, contaminated water getting into private wells. They're urging residents affected by flooding to get their wells tested before returning them to service.