Boise River levels still too high to do cleanup

Flows are still too high for the Boise Fire Department to remove debris.

BOISE - While the Boise River flows are considerably lower this week than they have been, Boise Fire officials say it's still too high for even their dive team to get on the water and start clearing fallen trees. And they're not sure when that will change.

With the hottest month of the year just nine days away, finding relief in a cool body of water is becoming more and more difficult in the Treasure Valley.

Just yesterday, Boise Parks and Recreation closed the ponds at Esther Simpot Park and Quinn's Pond because of an E. coli outbreak.

There's no saying when, or if, the Boise River will open for float season.

Right now, the river is flowing at 4,500 cubic feet per second, which is still down considerably when you compare it to the nearly 10,000 cfs just a week ago.

But before the Boise Fire Dive Rescue Team starts their annual cleanup, the river has to be at 2,000 cfs. And once that finally happens, there's no saying how long it will take to actually cleanup all the debris and tree snags.

"In past years, it's usually about a week and a half, two weeks cleanup," said Boise Fire Battalion Chief Steve Rasulo. "It's going to be hard to speculate how long that cleanup is going to take this year because just the sheer volume of the debris in the river as a result of the flooding."

While the river is never technically closed, you will see warning signs posted along the banks.

We know how badly a lot of you want to jump in, but serious danger lurks below the water, something Boise Fire and Rescue calls "strainers."

"Even in life jackets, small kids can get pulled into a strainer and are unable to come out of them, and they're trapped under the water as a result of the branches and the trees in the water," said Rasulo.

As far as the traditional float season, typically we see rafts going into the water right around now -- the first week of summer.

The latest float season start on record was 2011 -- on July 15.

This year, we're crossing our fingers that we'll see any float season at all considering flows are expected to go back up over 5,000 cfs on Friday.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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