High winds spark more concerns in flooded Hailey

HAILEY, Idaho -- Mother Nature just can't leave Blaine County alone.

As if widespread flooding was not causing enough problems for the residents of Hailey and the surrounding area, the sheriff's office issued another warning Thursday about a different kind of threat.

High winds are expected to hit the area by Friday and continue through Saturday, with gusts reaching up to 20 miles per hour. Officials with the Blaine County Sheriff's Office say floodwater in the area has saturated the ground, weakening it and making trees more likely to topple over.

RELATED: Spring runoff in Blaine County expected to remain high for 3 more weeks

"Be aware of your surroundings - look up, look down, look around," officials cautioned.

Stream banks and roads are also at risk of erosion as the flooding continues. Mandatory evacuations have already been issued for some areas of Hailey, and several road closures are in effect.

Falling trees may also knock down power lines into flooded areas, the sheriff's office said. All downed lines should be immediately reported to the local authorities, and residents should assume all downed power lines are live and keep a safe distance, officials added.

Lines buried in the soil may also be in jeopardy, according to the sheriff's office.

"The longer the flooding continues, the greater the likelihood that buried gas and power lines could be exposed," the agency wrote.

MORE: Sheriff: Blaine County flooding 'rapidly becoming more dangerous'

All generators and gas pumps should be run outside in well-ventilated areas. If residents choose to run the equipment on porches or in garages or crawl spaces, they should have working carbon monoxide detectors, officials say.

High water is expected to continue in the area for several weeks. For updated  information on the flooding, click here.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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