Sheriff urges caution amid Blaine County avalanches, flooding

HAILEY -- Authorities are urging people to stay away from the Warm Springs Road area of Blaine County after multiple avalanches Sunday night and Monday.

The Blaine County Sheriff's Office says at least five avalanches have been reported in that area, and wide swaths of unstable snow threaten more slides.

Avalanche danger is listed as high for mountain areas near Fairfield, Hailey, Stanley, Ketchum, Galena Summit and Smiley Creek.

"Recent heavy snows and strong winds have produced widespread areas of unstable snow," the sheriff's office wrote in a Monday Facebook post. "Natural and human-triggered avalanches are likely on steep snow-covered slopes and gullies."

One slide, reported at about 11 a.m., is blocking the Big Wood River, causing flooding to back up in the Della Vista subdivision in Hailey, authorities say. Other housing developments west of Hailey's Main Street and upstream of Della Vista may have flooding as well until the avalanche debris is cleared.

County officials said Monday evening that sand and bags to fill are available on War Eagle Drive near Heagle Park, and also near Della Vista Drive. The Hailey Fire Department was due to be on hand to help.

The sheriff's office is urging people to stay away from areas where avalanches pose a risk. Residents are also instructed never to drive through floodwaters, and to keep children away from creeks, culverts and storm drains, which can rise quickly, sweeping little ones away. 

Check back with KTVB for updates.

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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