After minor flooding Monday, Weiser River has receded - for now

kmoeller@idahostatesman.comMarch 12, 2014 

The Weiser River Basin has below-normal snowpack - but heavy rain in the basin on Sunday sent the river above flood stage in Weiser and Cambridge on Monday. That caused some minor flooding.

"We had a couple houses in Cambridge that got some water in them but it was mainly low-lying fields along Highway 95," Washington County Sheriff Matt Thomas said.

"It happened so fast that we didn't have a chance to do anything," Thomas said of homes breached by water. He said it wasn't a large amount of water.

"It was really pretty uneventful, compared to what we thought it would be," Thomas said. "We had some concerns with the debris buildup on the bridge at Cambridge."

A National Weather Service hydrologist said much of the basin got 2 to 3 inches of rain Sunday.

By Monday afternoon, the Weiser River at Cambridge shot up from about 7 feet to 13.2 feet; flood stage is 12 feet. In Weiser, the river level rose from about 6 feet to almost 12 almost; flood stage is 9.5 feet.

The river is now back down below flood stage (below 7.5 feet in Cambridge and Weiser), and it appears it will stay that way through next week, according to the National Weather Service.

Weather Service Hydrologist Troy Lindquist said Washington County residents aren't in the clear yet, as a wet spring and/or warm snap could raise river levels quickly again.

"It's something that you've got to watch," he said.

Idaho Transportation Department officials have cleared trees and other debris from the bridge at Cambridge.

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