Otter Issues Disaster Declaration for Flood-Soaked Elmore County

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Heavy rain and severe flooding that roared through portions of Elmore County and cut off full access to the Middle Fork of the Boise River was so severe that Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter on Wednesday declared the area to be a formal disaster area, triggering access to federal and state funding to repair some of the damage.

The flooding ripped through an area that had already been scarred by forest fires in recent years. As a result, portions of the Middle Fork Road still remain washed out three weeks after the storm. 

State officials said repairs to the Middle Fork Road within the Atlanta Highway District are expected to exceed $2 million, leading to Otter's disaster declaration, which is a prerequisite to federal funds.

"Given the amount of acres that have burned across Idaho the past few years, we hope to mitigate as many of these risks as possible, before they become larger issues," said Brigadier General Brad Richy, director of the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security.