EAGLE - With concerns rising in Eagle as floodwater continues to inundate the Greenbelt and other areas of town, Mayor Stan Ridgeway on Wednesday afternoon announced the closure of the Greenbelt in the city.
The closure of all pathways and trails along the banks of the Boise River was announced after discussions with emergency responders, the Incident Management Team, and notifying the Emergency Operations Center.
Ridgeway told KTVB on Monday that city leaders and emergency management officials were discussing closing the entire Greenbelt in Eagle, on both the north and south sides of the river.
High and fast river flows also are affecting Greenbelt use in Boise, where multiple sections of the pathway are closed. Last week, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter declared a local state of emergency and asked people to stay away from the Greenbelt and the river.
Eagle is also under a state of local emergency.
Here is the complete statement from the city of Eagle, Eagle police and the Eagle Fire Department:
"Everyone loves the Greenbelt. It’s 25 miles of tree-lined, Foothill-framed riverbank serenity through the heart of Eagle, Garden City, and Boise. It’s the perfect place to bike or stroll.
"Most of the time. Not now. That’s why the City of Eagle has closed our portion of the Greenbelt for the foreseeable future.
"Boise River flows in excess of 8,100 cubic feet per second (CFS) over the last few weeks have made much of the Greenbelt unsafe for people and pets.
"Low-lying portions of the path are under water. The riverbanks that line the Greenbelt are under stress and are at risk of serious erosion.
"The river is swift and bitter cold - 41 was the highest temp recorded on the river Wednesday - meaning any person or pet who fell in would be in immediate and serious danger.
"The Eagle Greenbelt starts at the Garden City/Eagle border. All pathways and trails will be closed along the north and south forks of the Boise River, both north and south banks. You will see signage at entry points along the Greenbelt reminding you of the closures.
"Boise River flows are expected to stay at or above 8,000 CFS until early June thanks to the deep snowpack in the mountains. Flows could increase if we have lots of rain or unseasonably warm temperatures through April and May.
"We appreciate people straying away from the Greenbelt until the high river flows go down to a safe level and we can assess the damage that has already occurred.
"We know it’s a sacrifice, but it’s more important to us that Eagle residents are safe."