Official: "We are preparing for the worst" in potential Boise River flooding

Posted at 3:45 PM, Apr 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-04 17:45:34-04

City and County officials -- as well as federal, State and local emergency response teams -- are still keeping watchful eyes on the Boise River.

Flows have exceeded 8,000 cubic feet per second -- making conditions extremely dangerous to people and pets, and causing flood concerns in a number of areas. Officials say, because of this winter’s deep snow pack, high water conditions are expected to remain into June -– or even beyond.

Officials are watching for any structural damage to two bridges on Eagle Road, known as the north channel and south channel bridges, as well as the Linder Road bridge, Eagle City spokesperson Tammy Gordon said. “Eagle Police and Eagle Fire Department teams are now checking the bridges every two to four hours,” she pointed out.

Since last week, officials have been closely monitoring the situation at the Sunroc gravel pit, located on private land near Eagle Island. The gravel pit is still considered “very unstable,” officials say, due to high water creating sinkholes, erosion and pools of water. Those living in the area near the gravel pit have reported seeing police, fire, and emergency service personnel on the scene most of Tuesday.

If the bank gives way, authorities have plans in place to notify area residents 12 to 24 hours in advance. “That’s why we are encouraging those living in and around Eagle to sign up for the Code Red emergency alert notification system,” Gordon said.

Eagle officials have been also meeting with the USGS, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, the Central District Health Department, and personnel from Ada County Emergency Management Services to assess the potential of flooding and determine emergency response plans should the waters rise.

Should sections of Eagle Road, Linder Road, Glenwood Street flood, Ada County Highway District engineers are also working to design alternate routes for drivers. Although the detours have not been finalized or announced yet, ACHD spokesperson Nicole Dubois said, “We are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Garden City Mayor John Evans joined the city of Boise and Ada County in declaring a state of emergency due to high water levels on the Boise River.   

On March 30th, the Boise Fire Department placed “dangerous river conditions” warnings along the length of the river in the city. Flood conditions have forced Garden City’s Public Works Department and Boise’s Parks and Recreation Department to close sections of the Greenbelt.

Ada County Emergency Management has developed the Ada County Flood Response Plan. The flood response plan provides information and procedures that guide and assist jurisdictions responding to a flood emergency with Ada County.