- Associated Press - Friday, March 24, 2017

SANDPOINT, Idaho (AP) - Mud, unstable ground and debris are causing major issues on roads and homes in northern Idaho.

Bonner County crews are working to clear multiple roads damaged by mudslides in recent weeks, The Bonner County Daily Bee reported (https://bit.ly/2nLTHUB).

Bonner County Emergency Management Director Bob Howard said heavy rainfall in October and a healthy winter snowpack now melting means the soil is extremely saturated, leading to slides.

“As frost comes out and water starts to run, it moves the mud … we have a lot of debris coming down because of the excessive amount of rain and warm temperatures,” he said.

Crews worked to open East River Road on Thursday after a mudslide damaged the roadway and knocked out power in the area. A mile north, a road remains closed due to an unstable hillside causing the road to collapse. In the same area, a mudslide briefly closed Peninsula Road last week and a mudslide at milepost 2 on Highway 57 cut off traffic for several hours on Sunday.

“Until you have stable conditions to work with, you won’t gain any ground,” Howard said.

Howard said sunny days have been good for drying out some of the roads, but there still could be frost in shaded areas. He said with more rain on the forecast he could not know when conditions will begin to improve.

“I’m hopeful that this last weekend was the peak of the worst of it, but we are going to continue to have issues probably for three or four weeks … it all depends on weather and the rate of melt,” Howard said.


Information from: Bonner County (Idaho) Daily Bee, https://www.bonnercountydailybee.com

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