MIDDLE SNAKE RIVER, Oregon and Idaho – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Walla Walla District deployed a team of technical experts today to assess ice-jam conditions and associated flood risks on the Snake River in Oregon and Idaho.
The ice jam appears to be at least 10 miles long, stretching from Washington County to Payette County on the Snake River in Idaho, as well as Malheur County in Oregon, according to local observations by those counties’ emergency management officials. In anticipation of increased risk to lives and property, both states requested the Corps to provide Advance Measures technical assistance to evaluate the situation and identify potential mitigation measures. Corps headquarters approved and funded the request for support under Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies authority. The cost for technical assistance provided under an Advance Measures request is covered by federal funding.
Corps experts in hydrology and engineering deployed from the Walla Walla District’s Boise Office and will investigate the on-site conditions, identify potential options for addressing the situation and provide risk assessments to the county governments.
Following the technical team’s assessment, the states may decide to submit additional Advance Measures requests for direct assistance from the Corps to implement potential flood-risk mitigation actions. The cost for direct-assistance actions under an Advance Measures request may be shared, depending upon the type of proposed mitigation action.
The Corps has authority to perform Advance Measures prior to flooding or flood-fighting activities to protect against loss of life and significant damages to urban areas and/or public facilities due to an imminent threat of unusual flooding. Advance Measures assistance may be taken prior to a flood, a hurricane or coastal storm, or a storm on an inland body of water, or a closed basin flood.
The Corps works 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. Individuals and business owners are encouraged to contact local emergency management agencies to ensure they understand flood risk in their areas, and how to prepare, respond and recover from a flood.
For more information about the Corps’ Emergency Management Assistance programs, check out the Walla Walla District’s Web site at www.nww.usace.army.mil/Missions/FloodAssistance.aspx
Release no. 17-009