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Flood risk is increasing

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Officials are starting to mitigate our local rivers to prevent flooding.

In fact last week, the National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the first time this year. The flood warning in effect for the Portneuf River around Pocatello is in effect until further notice.

The river is near flood stage, but it is expected to reach a moderate flood stage by the start of next week due to snow melt.

No other river is currently under a flood warning, yet many predict this will change.

One of the massive challenges for controlling the water is we are already stocked up on water storage in our reservoirs.

Many reservoir levels are already currently above 90% of their full capacity including the American Falls Reservoir at 98% full.

That's why many officials are already preparing.

"We are currently in flood control operations at palisades reservoir, and so that means they are releasing water to make space available for what they're expecting to runoff that allows recharge water rights to be on right now basin wide, which is rather unusual," said Craig Chandler of the Idaho Department of Water Resources.

The Bureau of Reclamation has been releasing their water at maximum capacity for a few weeks now.

Their goal is to cut their current capacity by about a fourth of the size it is currently at.

The good news for many farmers is that we will have plenty of water.

The officials we talked to said they would much rather have the flood problem rather than be in drought.

Other reservoirs will soon be releasing more water into the system starting next month in may to make way for additional room.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

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Evan Thomason

Evan is the weekend meteorologist and reporter.


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