ACHD Watching Incoming Weather, Working on Snow/Ice Removal and Flood Prevention

ACHD crews continue to clear trouble spots on neighborhood streets, removing ice deposits and unplugging major storm drains. The current weather forecast calls for a mix of snow, rain and warmer temperatures going into the weekend.

Here's where things stand after a month of snow fall and cold not seen since the 1940s, according to the National Weather Service:

  • Arterial (big) roads, collectors (mid-sized), major intersections, overpasses and bridges, hills and the areas around hospitals, schools, fire stations and railroad crossings are open and free of ice and snow.
  • School routes (streets) -- clear, although ice remains on many sidewalks.
  • Residential areas -- streets are open but ice rutting and blocked drains remain a concern.

Grader plowing snowFlooding concerns: Looking ahead, slightly warmer temperatures and melting snow/ice raises awareness about potential flooding.

The District has worked with Boise, Meridian, Garden City, Ada County and Ada County Emergency Management.

ACHD has five vacuum trucks to suck up puddles and ponds, 37 plows to open snow berms, 5 backhoes to dig out clogged drains and 17 vacuum sweepers, which can be used to suck up water. Boise, Meridian are Garden City have pledged five vacuum trucks – two, two and one – respectively, if flooding exceeds the current expectation.

The District’s priorities for addressing water problems will be:

  • Safety issues
  • Property protection
  • Nuisance water – ponding that doesn’t threaten lives or property

The public also has a role to play in the prevention of flooding, as ACHD asks for help in clearing blocked storm drains. The District has released a map of drain locations. During the past week, many residents have shoveled snow into streets, blocking gutters and drains -- and ACHD's plowing has also covered many of these inlets. Those drainage systems will only work if there’s a clear path for the water to flow.

See map of storm drain locations

“Help us help you,” said Tim Morgan, ACHD deputy director of Maintenance. “A little more shovel work can keep your property dry and help the overall effort.

“And please don’t shovel into the street,” he continued. “We have a lot of stored water to drain and we want it to flow freely to avoid problems.”

Background on ACHD's approach to winter maintenance

Sand bags: The District has received numerous inquiries about sand bags to deal with potential flooding. Ada County is providing bags and sand to residents and some city fire and public works departments are also making materials available. Our partners in those city fire and public works departments are handling the distribution of any bags, which are supposed to be used only for flood prevention.

Ada County is providing sand and bags for residents; there is a limit of 10 bags per household, and sandbags are only to be used for property protection for nuisance flooding. Individuals will need to fill their own bags and provide their own shovel. Sandbag locations and hours are Barber Park, from sunrise to sunset, and Expo Idaho, west parking lot, open anytime. Also, the Eagle, Kuna, Meridian and Star fire departments are also distributing bags to city residents. Get details here.

For further information, call:

  • Star – Fire Protection District, 10831 W. State St., 286-7772. Bags are available.
  • Eagle – Fire Department, 939-6463 (Bags, sand and shovels available at Fire Station No. 1, 966 Iron Eagle Dr. Limit: 10 bags)
  • Meridian – Fire Department, 888-1234. Residents must fill their own sand bags. (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, January 20th and 21st, 10 bag limit.)
  • Kuna – Fire Department, 922-1144, 150 W Boise St, Kuna. (10 bag limit)
  • Garden City- Garden City Public Library, 6015 Glenwood St. (10 bag limit). Must reside in Garden City.

Boise Trash Collection: The City of Boise asks those who normally get their trash picked up in alleys to place bins on the nearest plowed street until the snow and ice melts off.