New Meadows in State of Emergency; bracing for more flooding

Credit: Adam Worthington/ KTVB

New Meadows, ID

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by Jamie Grey

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBJamieGrey

KTVB.COM

Posted on March 17, 2012 at 9:28 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 12 at 8:28 AM

NEW MEADOWS -- The city of New Meadows in Adams County has declared a flood emergency.   That call was made around 1:30 Friday morning and has kept crews busy preparing for worse flooding.
  
As of Friday evening, city officials reported no homes had been badly damaged or destroyed, but there is an evacuation center set up at the senior center in case things get to that point.

Several factors caused flooding including melting snow, heavy rainfall, a blocked culvert under the road and water overflowing the banks of Big River and The Little Salmon River.

"In some places it's been knee high.  In some places it's been just a couple of inches," City Clerk and Treasurer Mac Qualls said.

On Thursday, some people sandbagged, but water crept up to the top of the rows.   Water washed over roads and approached several homes.  Some had water right up to their doors, others into their crawl spaces or basements.

While flooding has happened before in New Meadows, people don't recall a flood this problematic.

"In 1996, 97, we had serious flood, but it didn't' seem like it effected town as bad as it has this time.  It kind of went around us.  This time however, it's running straight down Norris Street and Catherine Street," Qualls said.

On Friday crews worked to relieve one of the largest problems in one flooded area of town by tearing up a 450 foot blocked culvert that had been jammed with ice and water.  To get the project done immediately without a bidding process, the city declared a state of emergency.

"We did declare a state of emergency so we could do this without bidding, without financing right away," Qualls said.

Sandbagging supplies are available for people to use at their homes and streets and also to help their neighbors out.  The bags and sand are at the city shop by the school.

"This stuff just happens.  So we kind of deal with it together, work through it," Qualls said.  "Volunteers and working together and neighbor helping neighbor."

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