On this page you learn what types of flooding are typical in Idaho and how do you protect yourself, your family and your home.
Flood Plain Information Orfoino and Riverside, Idaho Clearwater River prepared by Corps of Engineers, U.S. Flood Plain Information Orfoino , Idaho Orofino Creek and Whiskey Creek prepared by Corps of Engineers, U.S. Special Flood Hazard Information Kooskia-Stites, Idaho South Fork Clearwater River prepared by Corps of Engineers, U.S.
Widespread flooding occurred along creeks and small tributary rivers in the Payette Basin as well as along the main stem of the Payette River. Main stem river flooding occurred on the South Fork of the Payette River in Boise County and caused minor flooding in Lowman. Disastrous spring flooding occurred on the Snake River in eastern Idaho from March 14 to June 30, 1997, primarily due to the rapid melt of a record high snowpack at high elevations, and heavy rains in late May and early June. The flood wave tore through downstream communities including Sugar City and Rexburg, and then traveled down the Snake River Valley causing major flooding in communities along the Snake River.


River flooding occurs when river levels rise and overflow their banks or the edges of their main channel and inundate areas that are normally dry. Flooding due to snowmelt most often occurs in the spring when rapidly warming temperatures quickly melt the snow.
After flooding much of the Clearwater River Basin the water traveled downstream and combined with many other tributaries to flood the Columbia River from Washington to Oregon. Flooding also occurred in other areas of central Idaho, including Adams, Idaho, Lewis, and Washington counties. Flooding along the Payette River was magnified downstream in Gem County and Payette County.
Finally, you'll find links to NWS offices that provide forecast and safety information for Idaho, as well as links to our partners who play a significant role in keeping you safe.
River levels nearly overtopped existing flood control levees, and flooding of agricultural lands began far from the main channel as irrigation canals overflowed their banks. Whether such a storm is tropical or not, prolonged periods of heavy precipitation can cause flooding in coastal areas, as well as further inland as the storm moves on shore.


Floodwaters impacted railroad tracks, numerous county roads, and caused extensive agricultural flooding.
Total public assistance cost estimate for all counties was over 5.3 million dollars (Idaho Severe Storms and Flooding, FEMA-1927-DR). The river eventually broke through the sandbag dike, flooding Cataldo and forcing the evacuation of its residents. Warmer weather between May 22-28 continued to increase streamflows due to snowmelt and another rain event on May 28th brought additional flooding that produced a peak on many streams and rivers on May 29.



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