Otter inks state disaster declaration

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(Photo courtesy RON STOCKING) A Talache Road home was knocked off its foundation and several others threatened by a recent landslide.

BOISE — Bonner County is among seven counties in northern and north-central Idaho for which Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter signed disaster declarations for on Tuesday.

Counties named in the state disaster declaration include Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Clearwater, Kootenai, Latah and Shoshone counties. In the declaration, Otter noted the counties are battling a host of flooding-related issues associated with snowmelt and ongoing precipitation. Residents in counties are preparing for, or responding to, flooding, landslides and avalanches. Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai and Shoshone have declared due to flooding.

Water levels along the Coeur d’Alene River, the St. Joe River, and numerous other bodies of water within each of the counties in the state declaration, have risen dramatically, causing widespread flooding, mudslides, water over roads, damaged levees and flooding of homes and basements. Two homes have received significant damage due to mudslides, including one of Talache Road which was knocked off its foundation this weekend. Several other homes were threatened in the slide.

The Idaho Office of Emergency Management continues working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and our state agency partners to ensure that requests for assistance from the counties affected are met quickly and efficiently.

A total of 25 Idaho counties currently have local declarations related to either snowfall or flooding-related events. Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai and Shoshone counties are among those which issued county declarations of emergency due to flooding and landslides.

The Idaho Emergency Operations Center remains activated at heightened awareness due to widespread spring flooding destruction.

In addition, USACE teams are working with St. Maries city and county crews to stabilize federal levees and in Boundary County is experiencing failure of many roads. Crews have evacuated homes above and below the slide at Highway 95 and Ash Street in Bonners Ferry.

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