It was inevitable. The long, protracted spring, persistent rain – heavy at times – and increasing daytime temperatures combined to make travel in the northern areas of District 3 very challenging. And they are creating considerable headaches for ITD employees charged with keeping the highways passable.
Several roads were victims of washouts, mudslides and debris deposits Thursday (June 3) and today (June 4). ITD maintenance crews responded to incidents on Idaho 71, U.S. 95 and Idaho 55. Crews also cleared a logjam at the Weiser River Bridge in Cambridge.
Several state highways in Valley, Adams and Washington counties are experiencing washouts, mudslides and debris deposits under bridges. Idaho Transportation Department crews are on site attempting repairs and monitoring the situations.
Below is a status report, as mid-afternoon on Friday. For the latest reports on highway conditions, restrictions and closures, go to 511.idaho.gov or call 511.
High water in the Little Salmon River, about 13 miles south of Riggins, is threatening to flood the highway. Both lanes of traffic are open.
ITD advises motorists to use caution and travel in the affected areas only if necessary until conditions improve. For the latest reports on highway closures and restrictions, visit 511.idaho.gov or call 511 from telephones within Idaho.
The National Weather Service in Boise received reports of rock and mudslides with flooding and highway closures. A flood warning will remain in effect through Friday evening.
“Showers and isolated thunderstorms will develop this afternoon (Friday), which will enhance the flood threat in the north. Thus, the flash flood watch will remain in effect,” according to the NWS forecast.
The short-term forecast calls for “considerable rain today, especially in Idaho zones north of the Snake River where one to two inches total rainfall is likely.” As a result, the NWS will continue its flash flood watch.
Another “short wave” of rain is expected to move into the Pacific Northwest by early Sunday, but rainfall should be less than in the preceding storms. Monday and Tuesday (June 7, 8) should be drier, according to the weather service.