Before noon Friday, the Idaho Transportation Department closed Idaho 21 between mileposts 56 to 59 due to flooding, according to a Boise County emergency dispatcher.
That area is between Gold Fork and Whoop-Um-Up Park N Ski lots. No information was available on when it would re-open.
There was also an ice jam causing flooding on Robie Creek Road. The road is still open but it’s causing minor flooding. The Boise County Road Department is working on that.
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Mores Creek is running very high but it’s not over Highway 21.
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown will speak to media Friday afternoon about weather-related damage and flooding concerns in Southwest Idaho and Eastern Oregon.
Their comments will come after they take a helicopter tour of the region, according to a media advisory sent out Friday morning.
With new flood warnings for Weiser and the Bruneau River, watery worries continue Friday morning across southern Idaho. But a drying trend over the weekend is expected to help ease the situation.
A group of people trapped by flash flooding near Weiser was rescued by emergency crews Friday morning, KIVI reports.
Cove Road and East Washington Street on the outskirts of Weiser are experiencing flooding, Washington County.Disaster Services officials told the Idaho Statesman.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for the Weiser area about 4:30 a.m. Friday, estimating the zone stretching west of the town contains 5,623 residents, four schools and a hospital. But by time that warning expired, they upgraded the warning, recommending people avoid low-lying areas near the river.
An ice jam has blocked the Weiser River from flowing normally into the Snake River at Weiser, the weather service reported about 6:45 a.m. The jam is several hundred yards from the U.S. 95 bridge entering Weiser from the south.
U.S. 95 is blocked south of Weiser from Day Road to Appleton Lane. Traffic should use Oregon 201 instead, according to the Idaho Transportation Department.
As of 11:30 a.m., the bridge was closed even to pedestrians. Authorities say it will not be reopened until it can be inspected for safety concerns.
In Weiser — heavily hit by this winter’s snowstorms — streets are already filled with 12 to 18 inches of slush from the nearly 5feet of snow that fell on the city in January. Crews were scraping it off the road and hauling it away, Mayor Diana Thomas said Thursday.
In Payette County, water was flowing over Big Willow Road near Dry Creek Road as of 9:20 a.m. No homes were in imminent danger of flooding, however, according to that county’s sheriff’s office.
The Payette River is rising but is expected to still be below flood stage when it crests Saturday, authorities say.
Streams, rivers many times normal flow
The U.S. Geological Survey’s real-time streamflow map shows a number of southern Idaho streams and rivers well above their normal levels for this time of year.
Measured near Payette Friday morning, the Payette River was about 3 1/2 feet below flood stage. Near Weiser, the Snake River was about 160 percent of its mean average flow for February, though still well below flood stage.
Weiser’s problems have come more from the Weiser River, which measured right near Weiser sat just one-fourth of a foot below flood stage late morning Friday. Overnight, though, it reached a peak of 12 feet at 2:30 a.m. — rated “moderate” flooding by the USGS.
The Boise River at the Glenwood Bridge sat at about 4 1/2 feet, above its February normal but well below any level where flooding is a worry. It is forecast to rise sharply over the next six days; Boise residents should keep that in mind when going near its banks for the next week.
A number of small creeks and streams feeding these rivers are much more swollen. Measured at a spot in northern Owyhee County, for example, the Bruneau River is about 2 feet above flood stage, a whopping 3,577 percent of its average flow this time of year.
For real-time stream information, visit this link or text the gage number to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regional alerts, damage
At least two south-central Idaho ski resorts remain closed because of the weather, the Times-News reports. In addition to Soldier Mountain and Pomerelle, Sun Valley has closed Bald Mountain until conditions improve. Both Sun Valley and Soldier said they hope to fully reopen Saturday.
Around midnight, the weather service issued a flood warning for the Bruneau River in Owyhee County, likely affecting state highways 51 and 78. Those roadways are among many in the region with reported flooding issues Thursday.
Little new rain is expected in the Weiser area, Ada and Canyon counties Friday, with “a couple of hundredths” of an inch expected in the evening, meteorologist Josh Smith of the National Weather Service Boise office said.
Dryer, cooler conditions will “hang out for a little while, at least through the middle of next week,” he said.
To the east, the Magic Valley was particularly hard-hit Thursday by flooding and mudslides, reports the Times-News.
A canal was partially breached overnight near Castleford and Buhl, displacing several families. Districts in Filer, Buhl and Minidoka County closed schools in the middle of the day. A car that bypassed a police barricade in Twin Falls County was swept away by violent floodwaters west of Buhl. Segments of some roadways simply disappeared, ripped apart by rushing water.
Authorities reported no deaths or serious injuries but pleaded with motorists to stay off water-covered roads.
The American Red Cross has moved an emergency shelter for flooding evacuees in Twin Falls to Eastside Southern Baptist Church, 204 Eastland Drive N. It will open at noon Friday, according to the agency.
A Jerome Red Cross shelter is on standby and will open when needed at the Jerome County Fairgrounds at 2005 N. Fir St.
Elmore County sheriff’s deputies were out in force Thursday afternoon trying to help residents trapped by flooding at the subdivision near Mayfield in the Soles Rest Creek area, an Elmore dispatcher said. No injuries were reported , and officials were able to reach and help the residents. As of Thursday afternoon, the sheriff’s office reported many roads were still blocked.
While Elmore County has not been declared as in an official state of disaster, Gov. Butch Otter on Thursday added Ada and Boundary counties to the list of those in emergency. All together, six Idaho counties are now listed in the State Disaster Declaration, including Ada, Boundary, Canyon, Custer, Payette and Washington counties.
Much of southern Idaho is under flood warnings and advisories, including the Twin Falls and Jerome areas , where rain and snow melt are the culprits, the NWS’s Smith said Friday morning. In eastern Oregon, an ice jam in the Malheur River has spurred flood warnings.
Idaho State Police and the Idaho Transportation Department on Thursday advise residents to check the latest road conditions before driving across the state because of numerous closures and alerts.
“Increasing moisture and warming temperatures (are) mixing with heavy snowpack from a historic winter to create flooding and water-over-the-roadway situations all across the state on state highways and interstate routes,” according to a Thursday morning ITD news release.
Interstate 86 west of American Falls reopened late Thursday morning after a prolonged closure, ITD reports. But a closure on a section of Idaho 24 east of Twin Falls remained in effect because of water on the roadway. Problematic water also is reported on U.S. 93 north of Hollister and is blocking part of U.S. 30 west of Buhl.
Other highways with significant water woes include Idaho 78 near Oreana, Idaho 51 between Grand View and Bruneau, and Idaho 78 between the Bruneau dunes and Hammett. In Gem County, surface water is reported on Idaho 52 near Sweet. Check online for updated information before you head out.
In higher elevations, avalanche danger has closed sections of Idaho 75 north of Stanley and Idaho 21 south of Stanley. Farther north, part of U.S. 12 east of Kooskia is closed because of avalanche danger.
“Many areas around our state are dealing with flooding or threats of flooding. The snowmelt and rising and breached rivers have taken over roads and homes,” Lt. Gov. Brad Little said in a news release Thursday. “Many of our communities are being affected by abnormal weather events exceeding 25-year, 50-year and perhaps 100-year event projections. Our citizens and municipalities engineer their infrastructure for generally normal events, this is indeed a rare event.”
Little said in these rare events it is appropriate to help each other.
“Our students missed school because of extreme amounts of snowfall over the past few weeks, and now they are missing classes to help fill sandbags and save their neighbor’s home,” said Little. “We, Idahoans, are known for stepping up and helping each other during tough times, and I am thankful that is happening now.”
The Twin Falls Times-News contributed.