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Pocatello flood cleanup

Flood cleanup is underway in Pocatello. The flash flood Friday left major railroad-crossing roadways closed down, essentially cutting the town in half.

But Saturday’s beautiful weather made it feel like nothing had even happened in some parts of the Gate City. However, there are areas still affected by the flood, including the Center Street Underpass.

Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad estimated the cost to recover is about $15,000 to $20,000 with manpower, equipment and repairs.

“We’re still in the middle of paving streets and fixing water lines,” Blad said at the underpass on Saturday afternoon. “We’re still in the middle of doing our everyday work. This just got piled on top of it.”

Blad says would likely take until this Saturday night before the underpass is cleared out, but may not be open to traffic until Sunday morning.

“To be able to travel it we have to get the water out, then we need to spray it down because it’s pretty bad,” Blad said. “Then we’ll sweep it with the street sweepers and then we should be able to use it.”

The underpass railings are covered with gunk, as is the road, but that’s not the only sign of the massive amount of water that came through.

The debris line was about 6 feet high on the walkways, combine that with the 12 foot underpass, and it’s clear this was a major flood. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“This really is the only area left in the city that needs to be cleared. Now, we still have dirt and debris everywhere that, come the first of the week, we’ll be out getting everything cleaned up, but the city looks pretty darn good for the devastation that we had yesterday.”

Late Friday night or early Saturday morning, a few people decided to go swimming in the underpass water. By that time the power had been cut, so they weren’t in danger of being electrocuted.

But Blad said it’s a reminder that choices like that pull away resources from people who really need the help. He also added that water is some of the dirtiest water you can find.

The city can provide some help, like water pumps. Blad said for legal reasons, city employees can’t enter anyone’s home to help out. You can call 208-234-6201 with any concerns regarding any problems you are experiencing after the flood.

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