Officials monitoring levee after flood advisory issued in Jefferson County
RIGBY — Local and federal officials will be surveying parts of the Snake River over the next few days in preparation for possible flooding.
Two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers emergency management flood-fight specialists will arrive in eastern Idaho on Sunday and will be working directly with emergency managers in Madison and Jefferson counties.
“We’re monitoring the Snake River very closely,” Jefferson County Emergency Manager Rebecca Squires tells EastIdahoNews.com. “We’re expecting heavy flows from the Henrys Fork, which could switch us into minor flood stage.”
Squires said much of their work will be assessing and monitoring levee conditions to prevent flooding. Last year, persistent high flows on the Snake River caused damage to the levee near Lorenzo, prompting Jefferson County Commissioners to declare an emergency.
So far, no flooding has been reported, however, there is a flood advisory for the Snake River in Jefferson County.
The National Weather Service reports that as of 11 a.m. Saturday, the Snake River near Menan was measuring at 8.4 feet. Flood stage at that section of the river is 8.5 feet. If the river exceeds its banks, there will be minor flooding of low lying areas and the Menan Buttes boat launch will be flooded.
Further to the south, the Portneuf River near Pocatello is flooding. As of noon Saturday it was 9.2 feet, well above its flood stage of 8.5 feet. Minor flooding of nearby agricultural and pasture land is occurring in the Inkom and Blackrock
areas. Lowland flooding is also occurring between the Portneuf Gap and the Cheyenne Avenue Bridge in Pocatello.
Officials remind residents that disasters and emergency situations — like flooding — can occur anywhere, often with little or no prior warning. Corps officials encourage everyone to keep local emergency management contact information handy, keep an eye on evolving weather and streamflow conditions, and be familiar with emergency action plans for your specific location, according to a news release.