'Normal' flooding seen in Northern Idaho fields
Significant moisture forecasted for region; rivers receding
By STEVE BROWN
Flooding along Idaho's St. Joe River has left some pastures and hay fields under water, but it's "no more than normal," a county official says.
Norm Suenkel, director of Emergency Management in Benewah County, said the fields have water on them every year, but farmers have generally pulled their cattle off them until high-water season is over. That may mean Memorial Day this year, "depending on how much rain we get before then."
The St. Joe at St. Maries was about 2 feet above flood stage the afternoon of April 30 and receding.
The Coeur d'Alene River near Cataldo was rising again the next morning, but crested just below flood stage May 2. Doug Fredericks, resource and preparedness specialist with the Kootenai County Office of Emergency Management, said he had not heard of any ag lands or operations being affected.
"Lake Coeur d'Alene is coming down, and that's what we want to see," he said. "There's still a fair amount of snowpack up there."
A significant moisture pattern has been forecast for the region, he said.
The Spokane River caused some minor flooding along roads and low-lying areas before it crested Sunday night.
Other rivers in the region are also receding.