HAILEY, Idaho -- Ongoing flooding prompted more mandatory evacuations in Hailey on Friday.
Officials expanded mandatory evacuations in the Della View subdivision, bringing the number of evacuated homes in the neighborhood to 41.
The latest evacuations took effect at 4 p.m. and includes homes on both sides of Della Vista Drive, and west of Red Elephant Drive to War Eagle Drive.
Mandatory evacuations were ordered Thursday for homes on the on the south side of Della Vista Drive, which brought the number of evacuated homes in the neighborhood to 22.
The sheriff's office previously announced evacuations for several homes along War Eagle, nearest the Big Wood River.
"Homeowners affected by the evacuation should pack essential belongings, family and pets and leave while you still can," the sheriff's office warned in a Facebook post.
Anyone who is not physically able to leave their home should call 911 immediately. Residents will not be allowed back into the area until after the flood danger has passed.
Roads in the area were closed to everyone beginning at 2 p.m. Wednesday, with the closure starting at Cedar Bend Drive east of the Draper Preserve entrance. Cedar Bend Drive then turns into War Eagle Drive and is closed through to Red Elephant Drive.
Homes west of Silver Star Drive in the Della View area remain in a "voluntary evacuation" status, but the sheriff's office warned against waiting too long to get out.
"If you live in flood affected areas we highly recommend you begin preparations now so that you can leave immediately if conditions deteriorate," officials posted. "If you are in danger, DO NOT WAIT for an Evacuation Order."
Lt. Gov. Brad Little has declared a state of emergency in Blaine County due to the flooding. High water is expected to continue for several weeks.
Little and Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter will hold a public meeting in Hailey Saturday, May 13 to talk to residents about the flooding. Federal, state and local emergency managers will also be in attendance.
The meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the Blaine County School District Community Campus at 1050 Fox Acres Road in Hailey.
"We have ground water coming up and that's what residents who have lived here a long time say the biggest difference is. The groundwater is expanding upwards," City of Hailey public information officer Carol Brown told KTVB. "It came at once. We had some rain that added to the flows and we had some warm weather."
While flooding has gone down a bit since this past weekend, officials tell us they are expecting water to rise and possibly peak on Saturday.
"Historically, our peak flows are the last week in May, first week in June. So we are early," Brown added.
One homeowner KTVB spoke with is using multiple pumps to get several inches of water out of their crawl space and garage.
"Now we have on one side of the house is full of fast, flowing water; on the other side, fast, flowing water and then in the back is just a full lake," Della View area resident Siri McGrew said. "We have gotten three layers of sandbags all around but today we are build a whole other layer because we are looking at good possibility of it coming up much more."
City officials say the mandatory evacuations are indefinite, but people can expect flooding for about the next three weeks.
For the most part, neighbors and city officials tell us residents impacted by the flood are gracious and understanding. Community members are helping those impacted by flood water protect their homes by filling and delivering sandbags.
Residents can stay up-to-date on the latest flood information by following this link or this link.
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