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Wood River Valley rivers and creeks are expected to rise through Memorial Day weekend

Flooding is already happening in Hailey and Ketchum

IDAHO, USA — Water levels on the Big Wood River are the highest they have been this year. They are expected to continue to increase through the weekend. 

The image below is the latest forecast for the Big Wood River at Hailey. The orange line shows the flood stage.  We have already surpassed that and the moderate flood stage, shown in red. Unfortunately, we are approaching the major flood stage, that is in purple. The Northwest River Forecast Center is expecting river levels to exceed historical maximums for this time of year, especially on Saturday and Sunday. That means there will likely be more flooding impacts over Memorial Day weekend.

Credit: Northwest River Forecast Center

Sun Valley Fire Chief, Taan Robrahn, detailed where conditions are right now and what people can expect in the days ahead.

 "... It's kind of widespread at the moment, just through the Wood River Valley. And we are they are seeing some significant flooding down in Hailey and kind of that area. And we're seeing isolated areas throughout our district up here with flooding. So, we are kind of actively monitoring all of our all the different areas in our jurisdiction and trying to perform flood assessments," Robrahn said.

The Big Wood River isn't the only waterway that's running high. The Board Ranch, west of Ketchum, is experiencing flooding right now. A flood warning is in place for the area.

These rivers and creeks are being fed by the recent snowmelt. The snow is melting in the sunshine and warmer, daytime temperatures. Flows actually increase into the evening and overnight. Robrahn said that's one of the reasons why it will be important to know where you are in relation to pre-evacuation notices and evacuation warnings.

Robrahn elaborated; things can change quickly. Further, that the river may be flowing normally but there is a lot of debris from the avalanches that came down this winter, and that has the potential to change the direction of the streams. He said to always closely monitor the area.

"The main message is that, please just be safe. And keep an eye on your kids make sure that they're staying away from any of the flooded waters," Robrahn said. "And that's one of my personal big concerns is just people not paying attention, or while they're out recreating or doing something like that, that they find themselves in a position that they need to call us."

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