In case you haven’t noticed, we now have severe Eagle Idaho flood risk, as shown in the photos below that I took yesterday.
Boise River ~ Eagle Road Looking East
(Note the dislodged trees in the river that could obstruct flows at the Eagle Road Bridge)
Hilton Garden Inn ~ Eagle Road
(Note the whitecaps, Eagle Police deputies patrolling the greenbelt closure, and the floodwaters under the hotel.)
South Channel of Boise River ~ Westover Lakes Subdivision
(Note the river running bank-full ~ Some homes have water within a few feet of their foundations.)
The following photo of the South Channel, looking south from Rivers End Subdivision in 2006, illustrates what can happen in a high water year like this one.
Boise River South Channel ~ 2006
In 2006, the South Channel (normally about 20′ wide) carved a new channel that was hundreds of feet wide, requiring the Army Corps of Engineers to bring in big backhoes to place boulders in the river to coax it back into its normal channel.
There are many important considerations with this situation, including:
- Boise river flows are largely controlled by releases of water from Lucky Peak Dam, with additional water coming from rainfall and Boise River tributaries.
- The Boise River has been running above flood stage for the past month and water managers are saying high river flows will continue through May, and likely longer.
- Flood stage for the Boise River is around 7,000 cfs (cubic feet per second) at the Glenwood Bridge.
- Current river flows are above 8,000 cfs and will rise if water managers need to make more room in the reservoirs above Boise.
- We have three reservoirs in the mountains above Boise and the Treasure Valley that are approaching full capacity.
- We’ve had a high level of precipitation this winter that has resulted in a huge snowpack in the mountains above Boise.
- Bogus Basin Ski Area added another 11″ of snow last week during the 1.4″ rain event in the valley.
- We have more rain in the forecast in the next week.
- Our Spring temperatures remain low, which will result in a delayed snowmelt runoff this year.
- If we continue to accumulate snowpack, then experience (normal) suddenly warmer temperatures, the runoff into the reservoirs and rivers will increase dramatically.
- Many surrounding areas are already flooding, including the Boise River Greenbelt.
- To prevent damage to the Glenwood Bridge, the 17-ton Plantation Island steel bridge was removed with a giant crane earlier this week after river bank erosion threatened its stability.
- Various gravel pits upstream from Eagle Island are showing signs of weakening, which could result in a massive release of Boise River flows down the South Channel of the river in Eagle.
- News media reports have reported that Eagle Police and Eagle Fire Department are monitoring both Eagle Road bridges, as well as the Linder Road bridge, every 2-4 hours.
- In Brookwood Subdivision (where I live), our common area playing fields are flooding due to high flows in Dry Creek (which ain’t dry no mo!). Farmers Union Water Company delivers irrigation water to Brookwood via Dry Creek and will begin irrigation water flows in the next few days. Those additional flows, combined with more rain in the forecast, are likely to exacerbate the situation and cause more flooding in Brookwood. In 2006, Dry Creek’s banks (made of sand) collapsed and caused significant flooding in low-lying areas of Brookwood.
- Our Brookwood HOA is advising residents living adjacent to low-lying areas to remove personal property from their yards and be prepared for a worst-case scenario.
- It’s important to understand that Lucky Peak Dam is an earthfill dam that must not be allowed to overtop.
- If it were to overtop, it could result in erosion that could cause it to collapse (think Oroville here).
- Local municipalities and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued another disaster declaration, closed another section of the Greenbelt and activated new emergency measures on Tuesday to handle the ongoing flooding from the Boise River.
- A four-member U.S. Army Corps of Engineers emergency management flood-fight team deployed to Boise yesterday to help Ada County. I’ve personally seen numerous crews monitoring river banks and flow levels around Eagle in the past few days.
During his 44 years of full-time real estate experience, Phil has helped thousands of past clients buy and sell quality properties in the Western U.S.
Phil is one of only ten local Realtors® (of nearly 5,500) honored with the coveted “Realtor® Emeritus” award from the National Association of Realtors®, recognizing 40 years in real estate.