Winter 2017: The Year of the Floods
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – The winter of 2017 will be remembered in south-central Idaho as the year of the floods.
Quick melting snow and frequent rain has caused widespread flooding in many parts of the region, including a stretch of Interstate 86 east of Declo near Raft River, which prompted that part of the highway to close earlier this week. That means if you need to get to eastern Idaho, you need to find an alternative – and much longer – route.
Closer to home, generalized flooding was a problem in Twin Falls County late Wednesday night and Thursday morning, prompting the closure of several county roads. The Twin Falls County Sheriff Office and Twin Falls Canal Co. continued to monitored canal breaches at areas in Castleford and Buhl, notifying residents who were in the expected flood plain.
By late Thursday morning, the Idaho Transportation Department had closed Highway 30 between Buhl and Hagerman due to high water in the area. Twin Falls County commissioners said that by this afternoon they will declare the county in a state of emergency due to flooding.
The Red Cross and Amazing Grace Fellowship in Twin Falls set up a temporary shelter at the church for those displaced by the floods. Two families stayed at the church on Wednesday night, said Jennifer Church, administration assistant for Amazing Grace, and a family of five from Castleford was expected to arrive sometime today.
She said the church will provide the shelter, and the Red Cross the food and other necessities, as long as the families may need it.
Drains Working in City Limits
Some areas in Twin Falls city limits also experienced flooding, but for the most part the city isn’t seeing the problems that area others of the county area experiencing. According to city spokesman Joshua Palmer, that’s because the street department’s storm drains are working as they should.
Weeks ago the city issued a declaration of emergency as it anticipated flooding from snowmelt and rain, which at the time helped the city boost its drain system.
“We had crews working around the clock to make sure the drains were clear,” said city spokesman Joshua Palmer. Now, “the drains are working very well.”
A couple of problem issues within the city is Cheney Drive between North College Road and Washington Street North, which on Thursday was still closed due to flooding; and Filer Avenue between Carriage Lane and Hankins Road. The flood area on Filer Avenue is better today than it was a few days ago, but there were still visible pools of water in the area on Thursday afternoon.
Some runoff in that area came from a farmer’s field, Palmer said, but the city only deals with street flooding.
One of the more immediate problems the city is facing with the streets are potholes. Crews have been patching holes in many parts of the city, he said, but permanent patches will not be able to be used until much drier weather.