Flooding is the most serious, devastating and costly of natural hazards and can occur virtually anywhere. Many Idaho residents live near rivers which are subject to periodic flooding. Floods in Idaho frequently damage roads, farmlands and structures, often disrupt lives and businesses and occasionally cause loss of lives. A few streams in Idaho are subject to almost annual flooding, but in most areas damaging floods are much less frequent. Historically, the greatest impact has been located in parts of the State where communities are vulnerable to flooding from the many rivers, lakes, creeks and canals in the area. Steep, mountainous terrain creates a flood-prone environment and development is often confined to areas adjacent to stream channels.
Dam failure has historically led to flooding in Idaho.
Flooding has produced some of the worst disasters in Idaho with significant events occurring regularly throughout the history of the state. Flooding occurs frequently in the state and is seen on a very regular basis in many communities. The three types of flooding experienced in Idaho are riverine flooding, flash floods and ice/debris jam flooding. Riverine flooding is generally associated with winter storms and spring runoff and produces the largest scale events. Flash flooding is associated with extreme precipitation and runoff events, insufficient infrastructure and dam failures. Although typically limited in extent, flash floods are considered the most dangerous to human lives. Ice jam floods are associated with extreme winter cold events while debris jams may result from landslides or human activities.
A Flood Awareness Guide for Idaho
Idaho has developed a booklet that covers Idaho’s flooding history, a look at regional flooding impacts, what Idahoans can do to be prepared for flooding. Click the booklet cover above and to the left to download this informative booklet.
The Day of the Flood
The Flood PSA video (4 mb):
The Sandbag Technique Video (44 mb):