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Kootenai River Dike Damage Assessment Map



To:     Public Notice                

From:        Dean Satchwell       

CC:    Dave Kramer, Boundary County Emergency Management Director

Date:   6/12/2006   1700 Hrs. (5:00 P.M.)

Re:     Kootenai River Information (Boundary County)

Recent weather forecasts include a potential for significant rainfall in the Kootenai River basin tonight and mid-week which could cause a rise in water level in Boundary County.  The current river level at Bonners Ferry is 1762.43. Should the predicted rainfall occur, the Kootenai River in Boundary County could reach the 1764 foot elevation (flood stage) early Thursday, June 15. Then on Friday June 16, 2006 the water level is expected to reach 1765.9. The river water level is measured from sea level. Depending upon the duration of the rainfall, the river could continue to rise through Friday morning.  The flood stage level does not mean there is a threat of water going over dikes/levees or any dike/levee failures.

Boundary County Commissioners are considering an emergency ordinance prohibiting private powerboats from accessing the Kootenai River during this time of high water.  The ordinance would help ensure safety of the public and personnel conducting work along the riverbanks and dike system, as well as help reduce damage to the river banks.

Plans are in place for sandbagging low-lying portions of the City of Bonners Ferry should it become necessary.  The Army Corp of Engineers is continuing to place rock on the north side dike/levee in Bonners Ferry, as well as working with local officials to provide technical assistance.

County Emergency Management officials are advising farmers and ranchers with property that could be affected by seepage or high water tables to be aware that livestock and equipment might need to be moved to higher ground and to plan accordingly.   Landowners who have experienced any losses or any type of damage during the periods of high river levels are asked to report the damages to the Boundary County Agricultural Extension Office (208) 267-3235.  Reports are voluntary and will be used to monitor overall conditions within the county; they will not constitute a request for any type of assistance.

Boundary County Emergency Management is working with the Army Corp of Engineers and Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security on an assessment of damage caused by high river flows resulting in crop damage, loss of farm land and damage to the levees. Depending on the preliminary damage assessment the State of Idaho, on behalf of the county, may request a Presidential Disaster Declaration which may allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to participate in our current damage problems.

Boundary County Emergency Management is also looking at options for mosquito abatement due to predictions of high mosquito populations as a result of the higher water levels.  Panhandle Health District has been involved in planning for mosquito control.  See the attached news release from the health district for additional information.

Any person who feels they are in immediate danger due to river levels should call the Boundary County Sheriff’s Office at (208) 267-3151.