Flooding threats loom as Madison County officials say the time to prepare is now
MADISON COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI) - Our calendars may be telling us that spring is here, but Mother Nature hasn't quite come to the realization yet. As we look to the warmer temperatures ahead and the eventual thaw, officials in Madison County say if the thaw happens too fast it will be trouble.
"We're watching our historical areas that are flooded. And we'd encourage our citizens to do the same to prepare for if your home or your place of work receives moisture off of storm runoff or snow runoff, just to be prepared because we do have water in our snow both at our elevation up in the mountains," Madison County emergency services manager Robert Kohler said.
Kohler says the county receives data from the National Weather Service station in Pocatello. The recent data they are seeing leads them to be very concerned about the frozen pack underneath the fresh powder. Kohler says now is the time to prepare.
"We're right on the cusp right now. Madison County is taking steps to prepare by having pre-positioned sandbags and pre-filled sandbags for those individuals that are actually flooding and for those that are having an emergency," Kohler said.
He says the main signs people should watch out for during their preparations are, "A couple of the points that we keep an eye on is our temperatures. If we start receiving higher temperatures and it doesn't freeze overnight again, then I'd be prepared for water to come out of our snow at our elevation right here. Another thing that we watch constantly is that if we have rain on snow, rain on snow can pull the moisture out of the snow and start running downhill. Now, with that being said, our agencies have done a great job of cleaning out our storm drains, making sure we have a place for the water to go. But sometimes water goes where it wants to go."
The best defenses for your home can be sandbags and or building a berm, and for those sandbags make sure you place them by, "any doorways that are on ground level doorways are another area that they'll seep through," Kohler said. Window wells are another great location for sandbags.
He says those with questions can call the emergency services department and get some help.
"If they have questions, they're welcome to call our office and we can talk them through a preparedness plan for their home, take five, 10 minutes with them and help them understand where they can really be prepared. We can also point in the direction of where sandbags are available and companies that are selling them."