Idaho flooding leads to state disaster declarations - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Idaho flooding leads to state disaster declarations

Posted: Updated:
BOISE, Idaho -

Idaho Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter has declared State Disaster Declarations for Cassia, Minidoka, Twin Falls and Washington Counties. Active flooding caused by rapid snowmelt continues Saturday throughout parts of the state. Agriculture infrastructure, residences and roads have all sustained significant damage. A State Disaster Declaration ensures that all necessary state resources are made available for recovery efforts.

“The damage we are seeing across the state is devastating,” said Governor Otter. “When you see the images of the flooded areas you realize the effort to recover from this will take months, if not longer. It’s important that we assist our neighbors however possible and continue to work with local officials to make sure the recovery effort is efficient.”

In Cassia County, officials are working with the Oakley Canal Company and the Goose Creek Flood District to keep the water storage level in the Lower Goose Creek Reservoir (also known locally as the Oakley Reservoir) at a safe level. Oakley Canal Company has confirmed that the dam currently is structurally sound; however, there are concerns over the record amounts of water going into the reservoir and efforts are being made to minimize any threats of overflow. Additionally, canal and stream channels are being cleaned out so discharge water can flow to other locations to prevent flooding issues.

Many rural areas affected by the current flooding have wells and septic tanks, requiring special care. If your private well is flooded, assume the water in your home is contaminated. Experts also recommend testing your well for bacteria and other contaminants before returning it to service. For homeowners with septic tanks, do not pump your tank when the drainfield is flooded or saturated. If you suspect damage make sure your tanks are inspected by a professional.  Additional information on ensuring well and septic tank safety during a flood can be found here: www.deq.idaho.gov/media/815606-flood_brochure.pdf

A total of 15 Idaho counties currently have local declarations related to either snowfall or flooding-related events. The Idaho Emergency Operations Center (IDEOC) remains activated to Level II. Level II Activation means the incident requires extended operations and the IDEOC is staffed with extended hours. Multiple state agencies are providing resources.

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