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AD HOC FLOOD COMMITTEE 3-18-15

By definition ďAd HocĒ is Latin for ďfor thisĒ and basically means a committee formed for a specific purpose. The specific purpose of a newly formed local ad hoc committee is to study conditions that contributed to the February 11 flooding along Kidís Creek and measures that could be taken to avoid another such event.

The Salmon City Council ad hoc appointments came after a photo presentation by Everett Teigen which documented damages caused by the flood. The home of Teigen and his wife was badly damaged by the flood waters. In his prevention inspired research he has been consulting with professional engineer Randy Thomas.

Teigen has found that the bottom line cause of the flooding is the obstructions which exist along the length of Kidís Creek ranging from the culverts themselves to stands of huge trees that have grown in the middle of the creek. He pinpointed the biggest problem as being behind the Boyce Storage units where the water slows to a meander around the mid channel trees. Another very narrow spot exists in the area of Water Street and River Street. Teigen said the creek that begins at a width of 30 feet narrows to four feet at St. Charles Church and then down to 30 inches which allows water to back up stream due to a gradient of only one half percent. He said that is only about one fifth of the grade used for sewer lines.

During the ensuing discussion Michelle Tucker stepped forward with her experience of federal regulations that apply to the waterway and spoke of the tricky balance between regulations and private property rights. She said Kidís Creek flows through private property. The creek has been identified as critical habitat for three endangered species of fish and therefore involves nine jurisdictional federal agencies. She said improvements and changes can be made but that it will take an eyes-wide-open approach to the problems.

Tucker will be one of those facing that challenge since she volunteered to be on the committee. Other ad hoc committee members are Everett Teigen, Professional Engineer Randy Thomas, City Public Works Superintendent Harry Shanafelt plus Councilmen Jim Baker and Fred Waidely. Retired Lemhi County Ag Agent Bob Loucks will be invited to be on the committee and share his extensive knowledge of Idaho water right laws. City Clerk Mary Benton will coordinate an initial meeting.


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