Flood warning issued for Payette River

Credit: Paul Boehlke/KTVB

Flood warning issued for Payette River

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by Scott Evans

Bio | Email | Follow: @ScottEvansKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on April 26, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 24 at 1:18 PM

EMMETT -- After a couple days of heavy rain, the Payette River is rising and now at minor flood stage.

Here in Idaho, we know the weather can change dramatically day-to-day in the spring, and we've certainly seen that this week.

Record high temperatures earlier this week have given way to heavy rain, and that’s led to a flood warning for the Payette River.

The water levels of the Payette River were around 9.6 feet Thursday afternoon. The river is expected to crest at 12.05 feet by Thursday night or Friday.

That level doesn't cause too much concern, but if it gets worse, the city of Emmett will be ready.

Bruce Evans with Emmett Public Works is one person who is watching the river closely.

He got word Thursday afternoon that the Payette River in Emmett is in flood warning stage.

"I'm not even really worried about it,” said Evans. “I'm 95 percent sure this levee is going to be fine. That's how confident I am."

He knows the work that's been done on the levees will keep the water tamed.

"You leave the levee alone and let it do its work; it will take a big old beating," said Evans.

In 1997 and 2010 they had some of the worst flooding seen on this stretch of the river.  In 1997, the water rose to 16 feet.  In 2010, it hit 13.5 feet.

“We're prepared if something does happen,” said Evans. “If this report of 12.05 feet goes to 15 or 16 feet, we are prepared."

Evans says they have four pallets of sand bags ready to go, along with crews and trucks if things get worse.

"We just want to protect everyone,” said Evans.  “We understand look, but do it in a safe manner."

The water level is expected to barely reach the moderate flood stage.

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