MALHEUR COUNTY -- Authorities are urging people who live along the Snake River to take steps to protect their homes, but also remain ready to evacuate as floodwaters continue to rise.

An ice jam in the river is causing water to overflow along the banks and back up in drainage ditches and channels, prompting Malheur County to issue a flood warning.

Both Malheur County and Payette County officials have told residents to be on stand-by to evacuate.

Residents are also encouraged to use sandbags to hold off the rising water, but the Malheur County Sheriff's Office warned sandbags "may not prevent water from getting in or under your residence."

MORE: Payette Co. issues evacuation warning along Snake River

The sheriff's office is providing free bags and sand to fill them with to homeowners who need them. Sandbags should be placed near home entryways and in front of vents on concrete foundations. Residents should focus on protecting their home over shops, sheds and other buildings, according to the sheriff's office.

"As always with any weather warning and especially during these winter storms events, you should be prepared to weather cold winter conditions in the event of a power outage or road closures," sheriff's officials wrote in a release. "You should also consider evacuating if flood waters are seriously threatening your residence."

Drivers should avoid driving through floodwaters or flooded areas, which can cause a vehicle to stall or sweep it away.