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Posted 5/9/2017

Release no. 17-061


Contact
Public Affairs Office
509-527-7020
cenww-pa@usace.army.mil

BOISE, Idaho – Two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers districts teamed up to provide flood-fight resources to help the Idaho Office of Emergency Management (IOEM) respond to flooding in local areas.

Walla Walla District Emergency management personnel are providing 100,000 “regular” sandbags to IOEM, and also coordinated with the Corps’ Seattle District to provide 1,000 larger “super sacks.” Both the sandbags and super sacks are being sent to IOEM at Gowan Field in Boise.

While regular sandbags weigh about 30 pounds when filled with sand, and can be carried by one person, the larger super sacks being deployed hold 1.4-cubic yards of sand and must be moved by heavy equipment such as a front end loader after being filled. Each 1.4-cubic yard super sack is equal to more than 200 regular sandbags. When filled with sand, 1.4-cubic-yard super sacks weigh about 5,000 pounds.

Residents of flood-prone areas in Idaho are encouraged to stay informed of changing river, stream and weather conditions plus weather alerts on the National Weather Service website at https://alerts.weather.gov/cap/id.php?x=2

The Corps’ Walla Walla District continues to coordinate with state and local emergency management agencies as they respond to flood threats.

Idaho Office of Emergency Management at https://ioem.idaho.gov/ encourages Idaho residents to be prepared to respond to localized flooding. Individuals are encouraged to contact local emergency management agencies to ensure they understand how to receive updates and information specific to their location.

Corps water management officials continue coordinating with other federal and non-federal dam managers throughout the greater-Columbia River basin to make adjustments in river system operations that will best accommodate the increased run-off inflows. Reservoirs are being drafted ahead of anticipated heavy spring runoff.  The Corps works closely with other agencies and local government entities to notify the public as early as possible when significant changes to flows are necessary.

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The Corps is authorized to work with states, counties and other public entities to provide necessary resources and information.  The Corps does not have authority to provide disaster assistance directly to individuals.  The organization will continue to carefully watch the evolving situation and respond, when requested, with whatever assistance is authorized, appropriate and available.

The first responsibility for protecting homes and property from flood damage rests with the individual. Local governments and agencies, such as flood control districts, may share in this responsibility, and together form a community's first line of defense in preventing flood damages.

Occasionally, however, local resources are not able to control or contain a flood emergency situation. The Corps’ flood disaster assistance program is intended to supplement and assist local governments, institutions and special-purpose districts when more help is needed.

State, tribal, and county agencies needing disaster assistance from the Corps should contact the Walla Walla District Emergency Management Office at 509-527-7146, or 509-380-4538.

For more information about Emergency Management Assistance, check out the District’s Web site at http://www.nww.usace.army.mil/Missions/Flood-Assistance/.

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