A rash of warm temperatures to start May and plenty of snow left in the mountains could lead to flooding this weekend in parts of the Wood River Valley.
The city of Hailey closed access in Della View on Friday afternoon, permitting access to local residents only, according to the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office reported that War Eagle Drive is now closed, and only local residents can enter that street. The Sheriff’s Office also warned bicyclists and pedestrians to stay away from the Big Wood River in that stretch, and cautioned drivers not to try to drive through water that’s washed over a road.
It also posted video on its Facebook page showing water running high along the Big Wood in Ketchum, near the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood. Water was also running over a road next to Warm Springs Creek.
The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the Big Wood River near Hailey, with the worst expected Saturday night and into Sunday. The agency reported that the river in that stretch reached 5.3 feet at 1 p.m. Friday; flood stage occurs at 6 feet. It was up to 5.41 feet at 3:30 p.m. Friday.
The river flow is predicted to crest at 6.49 feet shortly after 3 p.m. Sunday. That would result in moderate flooding, according to the Weather Service.
Flood stage information is not available for the stream gauge on the Big Wood River near Ketchum. However, the Weather Service reported that the river was at 7.54 feet at 3 p.m. on Friday, nearing the historic crest of 8.7 feet that occurred in April 2012.
At the Big Wood River near Stanton Crossing, the stream gauge reported that the river was at 10.76 feet, above the historic record of 10 feet that occurred in May 2006.
On the Little Wood River near Carey, the river was at 4.79 feet at 3 p.m. Friday, below the flood stage of 6 feet. It was not forecast to exceed flood stage this weekend, according to the Weather Service.
The Big Wood River basin received a record-setting amount of moisture this winter, according to records that date to 1961.
The Wood River Valley has also experienced warm temperatures this week, sometimes exceeding 70 degrees.
The weekend should also be warm, with daytime highs expected around 60 to 65 degrees.
However, the valley may also get a wave of thunderstorms and rain showers during the afternoon and night Saturday. That will transition to a chance of rain showers Sunday afternoon, according to forecasts.