ADA COUNTY - As another winter storm is moving in with the potential to dump up to around a foot of snow in a region already buried in it, the Idaho National Guard on Friday said it will join the cities of Boise and Meridian to help keep Ada County roads and storm drains clear and keep residents safe.
Major Chris Borders told KTVB that personnel and equipment will be dispatched to help Ada County on Saturday.
Borders said they are able to help because Saturday is a regularly scheduled drill day.
Normally, the Guard doesn't step in until the entire state declares a state of emergency.
Borders said it won't be determined exactly where Guard resources will be deployed until Saturday morning.
As the news of the latest storm approaching the Treasure Valley broke on Friday, Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd declared a state of emergency for her city.
“With more snowfall expected, I issued this declaration because it gives the City the ability to dedicate resources for contractors, equipment and manpower quickly in order to protect the health and safety of our community,” de Weerd said.
Meridian says the city has hired a contractor to help clear parking spots along Main Street downtown and routes for emergency vehicles. More contractors will be hired to focus on neighborhoods.
The city's first priority will be to work with the Ada County Highway District to start with streets that haven't been plowed.
The second priority with be neighborhood streets that have only been plowed on one side - especially roads near schools.
Meridian asks residents to move their vehicles off the streets, if possible.
Ada County also took action on Friday to be able to secure additional resources for the public's safety during the winter storms.
The county declared a local disaster emergency for hazardous winter weather.
The city of Boise declared a state of emergency on Thursday as it stepped up efforts to clear snow from streets and sidewalks downtown.
Boise Mayor Dave Bieter dmade the declaration to free up funds that will help pay for the work.
Twin Falls Mayor Shawn Barigar also signed an emergency declaration on Friday as a precautionary measure to prepare for a significant weather event.
The city of Wilder also declared a local disaster emergency on Friday.