Residents warned about rising Snake and Payette rivers

The Payette River is overflowing its banks.

PAYETTE - People living near flood-prone areas in Payette County are in full preparation mode with word they need to be ready to evacuate.

This as the Snake and Payette rivers are expected to rise over the next several days.

At last check, the Snake River in Nyssa, Oregon was flowing at 41,100 cubic feet per second, which is actually a record for today.

The same is true for the Payette River near Payette, which is flowing at 16,400 cfs.

We stopped at a day use area along the Payette River near Highway 52 today, but the area is flooded due to rising waters. It’s gotten worse since noon. We’ve seen flood water spill over driveways and into fields.

"It's worse today than it was the other day," said Jerry Hall.


Hall is talking about the rising water levels along the Payette River.

So to help protect his home, Hall built a manmade dam in an effort to divert the water away from his home and property.

"Put this dam in here to keep it away from my house, you see," Hall said.

For people who live along the Payette River, rising waters and minor flooding have become somewhat expected.

"Well it's probably every three or four years," said David Harrison.

And many of them -- like Hall and Harrison -- have learned to prepare.

When the river does start to rise, Harrison's home is one of the first to see it, which is why he has now built a permanent berm.

"Went and dug some dirt and put it up around there, and then later on we went ahead and got some sandbags," Harrison said.

County officials say the river is expected to keep rising off and on over the next few days -- peaking on Thursday.

"Residents here along the river we're just asking them to be mindful of the river along their property and keep their eye on the levels and be ready to be evacuated if it becomes necessary for them to do so," said Lt. Andy Creech with the Payette County Sheriff’s Office.

Residents along the Snake River in Payette have also experienced minor flooding.

One person told us this is about two feet higher than what they typically see.

"A lot of these residents are familiar with that and taking the necessary steps that they should be taking, and that they take every time this happens. We're just watching," said Creech.

"If we can prevent it from getting in the house then we will. If we can't, we won't. Go with the flow,” said Hall.
Creech said that because of everything that has happened this past winter from roof collapses, to ice dams, to flooding, they've actually see a huge increase in the amount of residents that have signed up for their code red notification system, an automated emergency message system.

Residents are encouraged to monitor river levels near their property and be prepared to evacuate if necessary.

Sand bags can be purchased at Darts True Value in Payette.

Sand is available at the following locations:

-Highway 95 (across from the Maverick in Payette)
-May Trucking in Payette
-Noxious Weed & Gopher on South Main in Payette
-Highway 52 and Blacks Bridge Road (New Plymouth)
-Payette County Fairgrounds (New Plymouth)

 

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