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Water levels being monitored

Parts of Eastern Idaho have alrady experienced large amounts of flooding, however, the Henry’s Fork Watershed Council members gathered Tuesday and said all the rain and snow melt aren’t exactly a bad thing.

The Henry’s Fork Water Shed council members gathered to discuss what the current water levels are in the Henry’s Fork basin and surrounding basins and how they plan to manage the water come this spring.

One major project council members discussed is the Drought Management planning which monitors the Henry Fork reservoir below the Island Park reservoir.

Brandon Hoffner, executive director of the Henry’s Fork foundation, said there is a concern about flooding in the South Fork of the Snake River.

“There is “a lot of water everywhere and we need to maintain reservoirs with flood control. Henry’s Fork has normal operations,” Hoffner said.

Hoffner said there are visible differences in water runoff this season.

“Going into the year we had a very dry summer, which made water availability and filling back up the storage system, a big concern not only to the Henry’s Fork foundation but many of our partners. We had a strong October with a lot of rain and perception and snow. Overall, we’ve filled up the storage system pretty well. We are above average in some areas. Generally, we are looking better than previous years, ” Hoffner said. “We are talking about the Upper Snack Basin, including the Henry’s Fork. And we’ve met those expectations.”

Dale Swensen, co-facilitator of Henry’s Fork watershed council, said committee members have looked at the water supply outlook and are closely monitoring the levels in all the basins

“The water level in Island Park is at 68 percent capacity the potential of filling Island Park looks great this year. We talked about snow water equivalent that is in the Henry’s Fork basin, including the Fall River basin and the Teton River basin. “For the first time this winter, the Henry’s Fork basin, is at 100 percent filled and Fall River is at 120 percent filled. We are hoping to get normal precipitation,” Swensen said.

“There is still a lot snow up in the mountains above the Palisades,” which should fill the basins, Swensen said. We are hoping this will help fill the reservoirs and then we can use that water to irrigate this summer,” Swensen said.

Watch Tuesday’s news coverage on Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News to hear one concerned resident who said the river near his home looks like it’s going to overflow. He questioned whether or not the water managers really have a grasp on the water levels.

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