Boise River Flows Set to Increase to 8,500 cfs

Media Contact: Annette Ross, (208) 378-5322, aross@usbr.gov
Gina Baltrusch, (509) 527-7018, gina.c.baltrusch@usace.army.mil

For Release: April 06, 2017

BOISE, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will continue to increase flows from Lucky Peak Dam beginning Tuesday, April 11 due to an extremely large mountain snowpack and continued above-normal precipitation in the Boise River drainage. These conditions have resulted in significantly less flood control space in the Boise River reservoirs than is required.

Flows through the City of Boise will increase from the current flow of 8,000 cubic-feet-per-second (cfs) to approximately 8,250 cfs on Tuesday, April 11, and to 8,500 cfs on Wednesday, April 12. These flow increases are contingent on the completion of work currently underway to reinforce the river bank along the gravel pits in the Eagle area. The adjustments in releases from the reservoir system are necessary to help reduce the risk of more severe flooding later in the spring, which can happen with rapidly melting snow and seasonal precipitation. In addition to the flow increases through town, local irrigation entities have increased efforts to divert as much water as possible from the river.

A flow rate of 7,000 cfs is considered flood-stage level at the Glenwood Bridge gauge on the Boise River. At 8,500 cfs, additional sections of the Boise Greenbelt adjacent to the river will be submerged, and erosion of river banks will continue to be a significant problem. Minor flooding will continue to occur on sections of Eagle Island and in other low spots near the river. Some roads in low-lying areas may experience flooding. Some homes and businesses may experience water in their basements due to subterranean water level increases. Floating debris could become a problem if large quantities collect on bridges and impact river flows.

Boise River reservoirs are at approximately 67 percent of capacity. More flow increases are possible in the coming weeks, depending on weather conditions.

For real-time Boise River flows at Reclamation facilities in the Pacific Northwest Region, visit http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/rtindex/boise.html.

The Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation operate three dams on the Boise River as a system to manage flood control and irrigation storage needs — Lucky Peak Dam, Arrowrock Dam and Anderson Ranch Dam. Storage capacity provided by Reclamation’s Arrowrock and Anderson Ranch dams, and the Corps’ Lucky Peak Dam, combined with well-planned water releases, help manage Boise River flows through the city of Boise.

# # #

Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

Relevant Link:

http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/rtindex/boise.html