In just three days, the Boise River will have dropped by 2,000 cubic feet per second if river managers’ plans hold Wednesday.
The river should lower to about 7,250 cfs by Wednesday afternoon as measured at the Glenwood Bridge, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation said in a Tuesday news release.
That would leave it not far above flood stage, considered to be 7,000 cfs at that gauge.
Discharges from Lucky Peak will decline by 500 cfs at 8 a.m. Wednesday, then another 500 cfs at 10 a.m. Managers already made earlier cuts starting Sunday.
How can the Corp and Reclamation do this? Forecasts show less water now coming in to the river’s reservoir system. Area snowpack is finally depleting, and river managers believe there is enough space in the reservoirs to handle the expected runoff as it comes in. (Reservoirs currently are at 96 percent of capacity.)
If the agencies proceed as planned, they’ll leave the river Wednesday at its lowest level since early March. Even if they continue to lower it, there’s a lot that must happen before the Greenbelt reopens, river floating begins and life returns to normal for people with flooded property.
As always, there’s a disclaimer: If things change, the agencies may have to make future adjustments.