Boise River Flows To Increase This Week

Mar 4, 2019

More water will start flowing through the Boise River this week as officials work to keep the risk of flooding as low as possible.

February brought a rapid rise in snowpack to the Boise basin. At the start of the month, the snowpack was at 74 percent of median. By last week, it had shot up to 124 percent of median. That’s good news for farmers who should have a full supply of irrigation water this summer.

All that snow means the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which handle flows on the Boise River, want to make room in the reservoirs above Boise. The reservoirs are at 53 percent of capacity but that can change quickly when the snow starts melting and if we get spring rains.

Right now, the river flow through Boise is at 280 cubic feet per second. Starting Wednesday, that will go up 500 cfs each day until it reaches 1,780 cubic feet per second. That flow could go up even further, depending on the weather.

Officials are warning that the extra water is deep, cold, fast and dangerous, especially near river banks.

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