Flood-prone conditions have prompted Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter to issue a statewide declaration of emergency. The declaration, approved today, brings "the availability of state resources and rapid response to support impacted areas."
Bingham and Jefferson counties in Eastern Idaho were already listed under the state declaration. Otter's office said if conditions warrant, additional counties may be added. The declaration is considered a proactive step to reduce response times if more counties need to be added sooner than later.
A robust snowpack and historically high snow-water equivalent measurements are being blamed for the threat. Early forecasts indicate that 2011 will be one of the top five wettest years on record.
"We have been in constant coordination with local officials as this event has evolved," said Brig. Gen. Bill Shawver, Idaho's Bureau of Homeland Security director. "This declaration gives us the tools to respond as conditions dictate and to be able to react in real time."