- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 14, 2017

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) - Flooding is continuing to affect communities in southern and eastern Idaho as warm weather melts significant snowpack in lower elevations.

More than a third of Idaho’s 44 counties have declared disaster areas, including Bingham and Caribou. Temperatures cooled on Friday and through the weekend, offering some respite from the runoff, but many communities are already dealing with significant flooding and ice jams.

National Weather Service officials say the freeze-thaw pattern will continue through midweek, meaning flood risks still remain.

“As the weather turns cooler and drier, you may think it’s OK to not worry about flooding. That’s really not the case. While, yes, we will see some slow down as temperatures are cooler…there is still some water flowing and some flood waters have nowhere to go at the moment,” according to a statement on the National Weather Service’s website.

Bear Lake County officials have also considered signing a disaster declaration due to some flooded basements and fields.



The National Weather Service issued flood warnings for Cassia, Bannock, Power, Bingham, Oneida and Franklin counties until noon on Tuesday due to flooding that was either occurring or imminent. The Portneuf River in Pocatello was also above flood stage at 8.8 feet as of Monday.

In southeast Idaho, a flood advisory is also in effect for Jefferson County, southern Butte County, northwestern Bonneville County and western Madison County.

In southcentral Idaho, flooding caused a 50-foot by 100-yard section of the rim of Snake River Canyon to collapse near Jerome on Thursday, weakening a portion of the canyon wall.

Jerry Callen said he’s seen rocks slide from the canyon wall before, but never that large of a piece.

“I lost some canyon-front property and a whole bunch of rock chucks,” he said Monday.

The damage to the canyon wall created a fresh fracture in the rock behind it. The large crevice now runs along the rim. Jerome County Commissioner Roger Morley said the crevice should be considered a safety risk.

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