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PAYETTE -- The flooding continues in Payette County.

For the last few days everyone who lives near the Payette River has kept a close eye on its banks.

The river is now receding but too much water in the canals has created another problem.

When the Payette River started to go down Sunday night several people whose homes were threatened by the rising water thought they were in the clear. They weren't so lucky.

Early Monday morning, sometime between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m., a canal that runs through downtown Payette had so much water running through it that it began to overflow.

The intersection of Main and 12th streets in Payette is a foot deep in water in some places. That is US Highway 95 that runs through the heart of town. The Idaho Transportation Department announced Tuesday that the highway is reopened to traffic.

For several hours Monday firefighters tried pumping the water out of the road and back into the canal, but with the amount of water they were dealing with - it was a losing battle.

David Flowers lives down 12th Street and was up all night with his neighbors protecting their homes.

We've been told it may take up to 48 hours before this lowers here, so that's kind of the hard part. It's still right at the edge of our properties and if something breaks, that levy, there's still other levies that could still break and send this water in in a tidal wave, so we're all worried about that, said Flowers.

There are now sand bags directing the water into a pasture and back into the river.

A handful of homes suffered minor flood damage. Homeowners say there's nothing to do but to enjoy a temporary swimming and fishing hole created by the flood waters.

Payette residents say this is the worst flooding they've experienced since a levee broke back in 1997.

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