It looked like a true eastern Idaho winter over St. Patrick's Day weekend. The extra precipitation will not, however, lead to flooding in the Snake River, says a water manager.
"Right now, (the Palisades Dam) is over 81 percent full,? said Mike Beus, a water operations manager with the Bureau of Reclamation. ?We need to get it down around 50 percent before the snow in Wyoming begins to melt."
To do that, the water has to be released down the Snake River.
Beus keeps a close eye on water levels all over the upper valley from his Burley office. He said there's no reason to panic, ?not so long as the river stays below 20,000 (cubic feet per second) at Heise."
Water can flow through the Snake River a rate of 25,000 cubic feet per second.
When flow approaches 30,000 cfs, we should worry, Beus said, but once the water is released from Palisades, the flow will only be about 18,000 cfs tops.
"I would say things are looking good, but that's no consolation if snow is melting in your backyard and running into your basement," he said.
Of course, Beus was talking about the Snake River, not more localized flooding. Fremont County saw more flooding over the weekend. And a few weeks ago, snowmelt caused a privately-owned canal to overflow in Ammon.
Officials said it's important now to keep an eye on water levels near your home and to be prepared.
Although our reservoirs are pretty full, it turns out our snowpack is still about 10 percent below average for this time of year.