Melting snow causes flooding in parts of Idaho

Blaine County, Idaho (KIVI/CNN Newsource) – Warm temperatures and rapidly-melting snow are being blamed for flooding that’s causing problems for one Idaho County.

What were once roadways are now waterways in Hailey.

The Big Wood River burst its banks after a rapid snow melt.

The water turned a parking lot into a roaring torrent, and swallowed up parts of the Draper River Nature Preserve.

The Hailey Fire Department says up to 30 homes have been impacted. “And in the last couple of days, it’s increased where the ground water is rising, and the combination of surface water coming in with the increased river water, making a bad situation so much worse.”

One resident commented, “I’ve got class two rapids in the backyard.”

Crews are not just dealing with flooding, but falling trees.

The soggy ground and high winds have caused some to come crashing down.

Idaho Power has cut off the electricity to the affected homes for safety measures.

Many are using generators to pump the water out of their basements and crawlspaces while sandbagging around their homes.

KIVI spoke to one affected homeowner who said, “That’s my concern. Is the water rising from underneath and getting into the floor and then, you know, everything. Then it’s like, ‘We’re out.’”

This time, the Hailey Fire Department says no injuries have been reported, and no mandatory evacuations are in place.

The fire chief says they’ve seen great support from the community. “The city of Hailey has provided sand and sandbags, and over the last couple of days, and over the last couple of days we had several hundred people come out, volunteering their own time, their own vehicles, filling sandbags and distributing them to residents in need.”

Authorities are urging the public to stay out of the floodwaters and obey all road closures.

They are asking residents to be prepared in case they need to be evacuated.

“We’re just going to keep rolling our sleeves up and fight the good fight and do what we can,” one resident commented.

Voluntary evacuations are in place for some parts of Blaine County.

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