Culvert collapse that flooded 21 Nampa homes was ‘inevitable,’ official says


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A section of Midway Road collapsed Sunday morning which caused a culvert failure and multiple homes to be flooded. | Idaho Press-Tribune

NAMPA — An official with the Canyon Highway District No. 4 said a 2014 inspection of the pipe underneath Midway Road, the location of a culvert collapse that flooded 21 houses in August, revealed the pipe was in critical condition years before the flooding began.

Though residents still do not know who will pay for their damages after investigating the collapse, Dave Jones, director of the Canyon Highway District No. 4, said an investigation has revealed there were problems with the pipe, according to an inspection done in 2014.

The highway district cannot find any records that it was ever made aware of the faulty pipe, Jones said.

“The problem was obvious,” he told the Idaho Press-Tribune. “Collapse, inevitable.”

The Idaho Press-Tribune has filed a public records request to review the inspection, but it has not yet been fulfilled.

For weeks, residents have been living in their trailers, and some in tents, awaiting answers.

“It’s going to be hard to point the blame at anyone else other than us,” Jones said.

For now, he said, no one agency has been blamed for the collapse. If it is decided that the highway district is at fault, it will still take a “lengthy amount of time” for residents to receive funds for the damages to their houses.

Daniel Lindemood with Redtruck Disaster Response helps removal of damaged drywall in a house part of the victims of the flooding from the partial collapse of Midway Road in Nampa. | Idaho Press-Tribune

The incident will likely have to be put before a judge, and Jones estimates it would take a minimum of six months before residents are given monetary help.

Jones said the monetary value of the damages done to the houses will likely exceed the maximum insurance payout from their insurance company, and will have to be divided among all 21 houses.

Though the residents have not been given the monetary help they need, the highway district as well as other organizations and companies, have provided services, Jones said.

The highway district previously donated dumpsters and portable toilets for the residents. Jones said the district will now pump out residents’ septic tanks in their trailers because the district heard residents were being charged too much when they emptied them themselves.

Portable bathroom systems are left for residents to use in a neighborhood where a collapse of Midway Road caused flooding to the neighborhood in Nampa. | Idaho Press-Tribune

The highway district has also allotted $100,000 for emergency funds and health funds only, he said.

But as colder weather approaches, Jones said that money might have to be used for other things.

“Right now building repairs aren’t seen as an emergency, but they will be,” he said, noting the beginning of cold weather is only 60 days away.

Midway Road has been closed between Moss Lane and Homedale Road since the incident in August. The pipe has been repaired, and Jones said the road should be opened again by Thursday.

This story was originally published in the Idaho Press-Tribune. It is used here with permission.