Corps flood fight teams on standby to respond if needed

Published June 17, 2011

UPPER SNAKE RIVER AREA, Idaho – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District, recalled flood-fight teams deployed to counties near Idaho Falls this week, Corps officials announced today.

“Our teams have done everything they can do under the current flow conditions. They’re in standby mode, ready to go back if they’re needed again,” said Jeff Stidham, Walla Walla District emergency management specialist. “The counties continue to monitor rivers and streams and know they can any time, day or night.”

The redeployment followed several weeks of the Corps helping local emergency managers repair flow-damaged flood prevention structures and prepare for additional flows along the Snake River in Bingham, Jefferson and Madison counties.

Since the first week of May, the Corps has deployed a total of 18 trained flood-response specialists and delivered a total of 602,000 sandbags to counties and cities in the upper Snake River areas of Idaho and Wyoming. The Corps has also provided three Crisafulli pumps, a PTO-powered trailer pump, to support flood-fight efforts in Jefferson County, and one additional pump to help Bear Lake County flood fighters. The Corps also provided 50 rolls of plastic sheeting to Jefferson County and 35 rolls to Bingham County to help protect flood structures from being washed away by flood-level river flows.


As previously reported: Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security 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. Most county emergency management departments in Idaho have flood-preparedness information on their websites. Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security has an alert system that, based on zip code, will send alerts to whatever device residents choose – sign up at

Corps water management officials continue coordinating with other federal and non-federal dam managers 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 changes to flows are necessary.

The NWS’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service website for the Pocatello Weather Forecast Office provides links to weather warnings, forecasts and river flow information for locations in Southeastern Idaho.  Residents of flood-prone areas are encouraged to keep informed of changing river and weather conditions on the National Weather Service website and by tuning in to local radio and television news stations.

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.

The Walla Walla District is prepared to assist states and municipalities with flood-management support, if requested, said Jeff Stidham, Walla Walla District emergency management specialist. That assistance could include technical expertise, supplies and materials, equipment or contracts for emergency flood-fighting work.

Corps emergency management staff members continue to stay in touch with local emergency officials so, if requested to, they provide assistance. 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.

State and local 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 or call (509) 527-7145.

For Corps updates and photos of flood-fight efforts in Idaho and Wyoming, visit our Facebook site



Public Affairs

Release no. 11-90