Officials warn of "dangerous conditions" on the Boise River

Posted at 3:46 PM, Mar 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-29 17:46:33-04

In coordination with the City of Boise Parks and Recreation Department, Boise Police, and the Ada County Parks and Waterways, the Boise Fire Department has posted a “Dangerous River Condition” for the Boise River. 

“Current water flows exceed 8,000 cubic feet per second, making conditions in the river extremely dangerous to people and pets.  Our greatest concern is for public safety and first responder safety,” said Boise Fire Department spokeswoman Tammy Barry.

Officials say, when the dangerous conditions exist, swift water can carry people and pets away rapidly. Cold water can cause even the best swimmer to be incapable of swimming due to loss of motor control/muscle control -- significant debris in the river can injure people and contribute to rescue equipment failure.

“Flooding conditions make access to river more dangerous, if not impossible,” Barry said. “Water has approached bridge height, making passing under a bridge extremely dangerous or not possible.”

Experts are reminding people:

-Do not recreate in the river; very cold swift water is life threatening.

-Keep pets leashed when you are walking them near the river, they may chase other animals/wildlife into the swift water.

-Portions of the Greenbelt have detours or closures posted due to high water. Check with Boise Parks for the latest Greenbelt information.

-If someone gets into trouble, call 9-1-1 immediately. The 9-1-1 Dispatcher needs to know how many people are in the water and where they are; i.e., the closest street, bridge crossing, what park they are in, what side of the river they are on, the nearest Greenbelt Mile Marker, etc.

According to city ordinance, Boise City may impose a charge to recover costs incurred by the City for responding to a rescue on the river.