Déjà vu: Flooding shuts down sections of Eagle Greenbelt

EAGLE — Unfortunately, flooding has caused the City of Eagle to close a couple sections of its Boise River Greenbelt. But fortunately, we’ve very rarely covered flooding-related closures, which is a big difference from last year!

In Eagle, part of the Laguna Point Trail along on the south channel of the Boise River and a portion of the north channel pathway where it passes under Eagle Road are shut down right now. The underpass path is typically the first spot water overflows on the Eagle Greenbelt because it is so low-lying.

The flooding and closures are not surprising to people who have been in the area a while, but for newcomers it might be a bit shocking.

River levels have been fluctuating this spring, so the City of Eagle closed, then opened and now closed portions of the path again. City officials say flooding on the Greenbelt is happening with the river at lower cubic-feet-per-second (cfs) rates. As of 8 p.m. on Monday, water was flowing around 3,660 cfs at the Glenwood Bridge. Last year, USGS data shows it was rushing at 8,550 cfs.

Experts say the historic flooding in 2017 changed the river’s flows and height. Eagle communications specialist Tammy Gordon says sediment was re-distributed and water is higher in some areas.

“The sediment itself changed the course of the river and that’s more of how the height of the river – when you have an increased cfs – it changes how high it is this year. So it spreads out a little bit differently this year,” Gordon said. “The difference is that last year it was taking a lot of the sediment and then it settled… Last year we were able to close it at 4,000 cfs. This year we had to close at 2,700 because all that sediment had actually redistributed in those areas.

“So the water – even though the cfs is just as low – the water is higher this year. So it’s not anything that’s dangerous but it’s one of those precautions that if there’s water then you should probably stay away from it. So we closed down for precautionary reasons.”

The Laguna trail and underpass at Eagle Road are the only spots the city expects to temporarily shut down this year, but officials know Mother Nature will run her course.

The city had plans to fix damaged trails this year, but Gordon says water levels started going up again and construction workers are hard to come by, so they had to put those projects on the back burner for now.

City leaders want to send a message to Greenbelt users: pay attention to signage!

© 2018 KTVB


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