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City: Don't turn on your sprinklers

By Staff Writer
Published On: Sep 03 2013 06:40:41 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 04 2013 06:22:14 PM CDT

A storm flooded Pocatello streets on Sept. 3.

POCATELLO, Idaho -

Roads are open after Tuesday night's flooding in Pocatello, but the situation isn't entirely over.

“The ground is already saturated from yesterday’s storm, and more rain is expected today and tomorrow,” said Pocatello Fire Chief Dave Gates in a news release from the city Wednesday. “Sprinkler systems are adding to the saturation problem. Please turn off all automated sprinkler systems and refrain from watering yard and landscape areas until the storm cycle is over.” 

Most streets, including the Center Street underpass, were back open Wednesday morning after being closed Tuesday night because of heavy runoff, but the city is preparing for more flooding.

Light rain is predicted for Wednesday evening and heavier rain Thursday afternoon.

If there is flood danger again, the city is asking people with septic systems to reduce the amount of water used by limiting toilet flushing, dishwashing, washing clothes and showering. Avoid contact with any septic system electrical devices until they are dry and clean. Do not pump out the septic tank more than halfway or the tank may float out of the ground. Plug floor drains, if necessary, to keep sewer from backing up into the basement.

City officials are also encouraging property owners to clean out the gutters around their homes and businesses.

The city is giving away sandbags at four locations to Pocatello and Chubbuck residents:

- ISU Holt Arena – northeast side by Bonneville Park
- Fire Station No. 2 – 1539 North Hayes Ave.
- Central Equipment – 2700 1/2 S. Fifth Ave.
- Pine Ridge Mall – 4155 Yellowstone Ave.

The locations were to be open until 8 p.m. Wednesday. Thursday's hours have not yet been announced.

People are limited to 50 sandbags each. According to a news release, city staff and volunteers are filling sandbags as quickly as they can, but are people are welcome to come to the sites and fill their own sandbags. They can bring their own shovels to speed up the process or use the city's.

A Pocatello resident on Ravine Drive told Local News 8 over the phone Tuesday night that two to four feet of water was on the road, and some homes flooded.

To report emergencies that are not life-threatening, call (208) 234-6100. For all life-threatening emergencies, call 911.

The last time Pocatello dealt with flooding was Aug. 23.

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