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Kootenai River Dike Damage Assessment Map



Bonners Ferry, Idaho --Wednesday and Thursday’s rain contributed to a rise in the level of the Kootenai River at Bonners Ferry.   Between 5:00 pm Tuesday and 4:00 pm Wednesday the river level climbed from 1762.16 feet to 1762.46 feet above sea level.  Today Thursday June 15, 2006 the river rose another .78 feet it it’s current level of 1763.24.

Weather forecasts and river level predictions provided to Boundary County indicate the river could stabilize at its current level. However it is still possible it could rise to a predicted crest of 1763.5 thru tonight (Thursday June 15, 2006). The next few days the river level is expected to start receding, (1764 feet is considered flood stage).   The flood stage level does not mean there is a threat of water going over dikes/levees or any dike/levee failures. 

The level at which sandbagging would become necessary in certain portions of Bonners Ferry is 1765 feet.  Plans and supplies are in place for sandbagging low-lying portions of the city should it become necessary, even though it is not anticipated this will be needed at this time. 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 and providing technical assistance. There was a small section of road east of Bonners Ferry which received sandbags.

Residents are reminded that the forecasts provided to Boundary County Emergency Management Officials are weather dependant and can change hourly when the weather changes.

Boundary County Commissioners passed an emergency ordinance June 13, 2006 restricting watercraft on the river. This temporary restriction is designed to help ensure safety of the public and personnel conducting work along the riverbanks and dike system, as well as help reduce damage to our river banks.

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.

Officials from Boundary County and the City of Bonners Ferry continue to meet with Army Corp of Engineers, Libby Dam managers, Panhandle Health District, Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, National Weather Service (Spokane), and Idaho Department of Homeland Security to discuss the overall impact of the water level and damage to Boundary County. These meetings are helpful in sharing information about needs and developing a response plan.

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.