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Extreme weather prompts disaster concerns

Extreme weather has prompted the Idaho Emergency Operations Center to activate. Heightened Awareness means the threat level is “moderate”, with a chance of developing into a state-level emergency disaster.

Because of extreme cold and record snowfall in some parts of the state, the E.O.C. said there is a likelihood of flooding once temperatures warm up.

Lemhi County is experiencing minor to moderate flooding in low areas near the Salmon River north of Salmon. The Snake River above American Falls reservoir is also considered a high-risk area for flooding in southeast Idaho.

“One of Idaho’s major hazards is flooding following significant snowfall and subsequent rapid thawing,” said Idaho Office of Emergency Management Deputy Director Brad Richy. “In fact, in 1997 melting snow caused by similar weather conditions, led to a statewide Presidential Disaster Declaration. Being aware of the potential dangers and making sure both your car and your home have emergency kits is critically important.”

The agency has issued basic safety tips for travelers, including:

— Drivers should never attempt to cross flooded roads in a vehicle. Turn around Don’t Drown. This is just as important in winter as it is in spring.

— Assess the safety of your route. Some roadways heading toward Nevada and Oregon may be impassable. Road condition information can be found here.

— If you are traveling, make sure your vehicle is equipped with emergency supplies. A list of emergency supplies, including water, snack foods, flashlights, extra batteries, blankets and booster cables can be found here.

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