Flood-assistance plans kick off as Boise River rises yet again

Watch water gush through Lucky Peak Dam

Here's what it looks like at Lucky Peak Dam, where water is dumping into the Boise River at a high rate.
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Here's what it looks like at Lucky Peak Dam, where water is dumping into the Boise River at a high rate.

The Boise River hit its highest flow of the year on Tuesday, peaking at more than 9,100 cubic feet per second at the Glenwood Bridge.

As the river inundates low-lying areas, federal disaster relief is rolling out to help with what the Idaho Office of Emergency Management estimates at $30 million in flood damage statewide so far.

All of Idaho’s counties have had disaster declarations put in place. Eleven counties received presidential disaster declarations, making low-interest federal disaster loans available.

Neither Ada nor Canyon county is among the 11. But Curtis Elke, the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service state conservationist for Idaho, has issued a local declaration of disaster for the 33 Idaho counties not covered by President Donald Trump’s declaration. That can make help available for removing debris from channels, curb soil erosion, protect roads and bridges, and remove structures or obstructions that impede floodplains.

This year’s record snow pack, rainfall and rising temperatures have led to serious damage to both private property and public infrastructure along the Boise River. The flooding is expected to continue into the summer.

Trump’s declaration means the Small Business Administration may now lend private nonprofits up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets.

The interest rate on SBA loans is 2.5 percent with terms up to 30 years. The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is June 20. The deadline to return economic injury applications is Jan. 22. Applicants may apply online using Small Business Administration’s secure website.

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