HAILEY – Blaine County residents continued to play catch-up Saturday as water surrounded some of their homes.
"We're just fighting a battle," said Hailey resident Carmen Northen. "We're just keeping above the water. We all thought the river was going to behave a certain way and it's not, it's completely different."
Cooler temperatures slowed mountain snow melt and runoff into the Big Wood River, which was less than a foot above flood stage Saturday afternoon, but forecasters with the National Weather Service are expecting the river to rise again, and they expect flooding to continue into the month of June.
"Even though the river is flowing high right now and we're flooding, we may go through a lull with the storm system coming in," said Vernon Preston, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pocatello. "But in another week and a half to two weeks from now we're going to go through this all over again and that peak might be even higher."
Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and several local emergency officials held a town hall meeting Saturday morning for people to ask any questions they may have about the flooding and the response to it.
Many who attended the meeting wondered about insurance claims, and if the Idaho National Guard would be available if necessary.
Gov. Otter said he wants people to know what state resources are available.
“We can source the assets they need, but they have to ask us for those assets, and that’s why we’re here today,” Otter said. “There is some confusion about what we have and what we don’t have. The resources we have in the state we can make available to the local folks, but they’ve got to be in charge. They’ve got to ask.”
Lt. Gov. Brad Little said communities can apply for some of the $50 million in emergency funding that state lawmakers approved earlier this year to help repair infrastructure damaged by winter storms.
Four sandbag sites are set up around Hailey.
Related story: Community comes together amid Hailey flooding evacuations