Snowmelt and rain have combined to raise river levels along the South Fork of the Payette River to minor flood stage. Residents in the town of Lowman are sandbagging as they prepare for the potential for flooding.
Last summer, the town of Lowman was surrounded by the Pioneer Fire as it scorched nearly 200,000 acres. Now, they’ve gone from one extreme to another.
“We went through the fire fears and now we've got a flood, from fire to flood,” Trish said.
Trish has lived in Lowman along the South Fork for more than a decade.
“So yes you worry. I don't know how high it's going to get,” she said.
Although, this isn’t the first time Trish has seen the waters of the South Fork this high. Trish tells KTVB that several years ago she had to lay down sandbags to protect her home.
“I decided I wasn't taking the sandbags down. So I covered them with road base over the last two summers,” Trish said.
It’s created a permanent barrier between her home and the river. However, it hasn’t stopped all the water, as it’s still seeping in through the ground.
“The water is in the crawl space and the pump is going right now,” Trish said.
A few houses down, Renee Hill and Jeanette Black are standing guard over their family’s home.
“Through the night it was the fear of how far are we going to have to swim out, you know, getting out of the house in the morning,” Hill said.
This as their concern isn’t only the river, but also the road leading to their home becoming impassable.
“So that's basically the initial fear. It's not just what's behind us with the river, but it's how much that river, if it flows from the other side,” Hill said.
A community that’s coming together to help keep one another safe.
“It's just amazing everybody's checking up on everybody here,” Black said.
“Community at its best. Everybody is looking out for one another and that, and in this day and time that's good news,” Hill added.
Flows along the South Fork are expected to remain around 7 feet for the next several days.
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