Sandpoint crew helps Bonner County
during emergency flooding last week

Consistent rainfall overwhelmed infrastructure in North Idaho last week, prompting an emergency declaration for Bonner County. On May 21, the Sam Owen Fire Department reached out to local ITD foreman Jamie Miller to supply guardrail in the hopes of diverting the floodwaters away from a private residence. The Sandpoint crew worked overtime to counteract the effects of flooding from Carter Creek, which unbeknownst to them, flowed through a culvert under Idaho Highway 200.

“The problem is we did not know that the culvert, or the creek, was even there,” Miller said. “Back in the early 1980s, they put in a new 48-inch culvert and left the old one further west for overflow. Since then a new house has been built, and the overflow culvert no longer has a ditch to run into, so it flooded all the way around this house.”

The water levels dropped enough to allow the crew on Friday to extract debris from the culvert—which washed down during the flooding event—and increase its capacity. Thunderstorms and rain this weekend could melt more snowpack and restart the flooding process, but the crew is ready.

“I’m proud of our crews assisting the emergency coordinator to respond and to protect property on short notice at the end of a full work week,” District Engineer Damon Allen said.  


Published 05-29-20