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
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.