WALLACE — The spring thaw is seemingly upon us in Shoshone County, as water levels in local rivers, streams and lakes have risen; and local residents should be on the lookout for potential flooding and flood risks.
Last year’s flood season saw the region take nearly $100,000 in damages to county maintained property, and that wasn’t counting any private damages taken by residents.
Shoshone County emergency manager Dan Martinsen discussed how the county is already watching the situation and suggests that people in affected areas be prepared should the situation get out of hand.
“The recent temps and rain have increased the water flows and there is always good reason to be concerned this time of year,” Martinsen said. “Currently we have indeed seen sharp increases in local area water flows, especially on the St. Joe River at St. Maries and the Coeur d’Alene River in the Cataldo areas. However, the forecasts predict a reduction in those flows over the next forecast cycle. However, I would suggest the basic precautions of being as prepared as possible to take actions from extended shelter in place provisions, to full evacuations. There are numerous links on our new website under the Flood Information tab that can give folks tips on how to prepare emergency kits, or how to watch the National Weather Service river gauges.”
The Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office released a statement on their Facebook page warning folks to be careful as they travel throughout the county.
“It’s that time of year again. The warm weather along with the rain has caused some melt off swelling our river banks. We have experienced some debris in the small stream culverts that has caused some minor flooding issues. The county road department has been doing a great job throughout the county trying to stay on top of all the issues. Visited Calder and Clarkia today. The county road crew was out clearing rocks and culverts from the roadway. Signs are up at Falls Creek for water over the roadway. Just be cautious while traveling our river roads and please report any signs of flooding or road erosion. Safe travels.”
With temperatures expected to reach up to 50 degrees over the coming days, those piles of snow will quickly turn the streets of the local cities into free-flowing creeks as the melted snow makes its way into the various storm drains.
The county yards in Smelterville and Osburn will have sandbags available to people and should an emergency situation arise, they will be open all night for people to come and get sandbags.
Please see the Planning & Zoning department page at shoshonecounty.id.gov for more information and links to other flood related information, or go directly to www.floodsmart.org or www.fema.gov.
For more information or to contact Shoshone County emergency manager Dan Martinsen call 208-752-8891.