Friday, January 13, 2017

Malta Flooding

POCATELLO, Idaho (NWS Pocatello) Summary from NWS Pocatello courtesy of our county and city emergency managers

Cassia: Extensive flooding reported in the City of Malta, particularly for areas west of Highway 81 where water entered many homes. At least knee deep water was reported running down city streets on Tuesday night, Jan. 10. Water entered many homes in the city to the west of Highway 81.

Hope: On 18 January 1971, we had a flood in our area. There had been a heavy snow in the mountains surrounding the valley, then we got a lot of rain, which melted the snow rapidly. That morning was warm and rainy. Mary went out to do the chores and to try to bank up around the feeder, as there was water standing on the ground near the feeders. While she was out in the yard, we could hear a roaring sound, but didn’t think of a flood although we had expected high water in the creek. This was about 9:00 a.m. and Sunday. Suddenly we saw water coming toward the house---all over the field was water. Soon I could hear water running into the basement through the ground level window. All my bottled fruit was in that basement or cellar. I knew it would be impossible for me to carry that fruit and other things that were stored down there out to keep them dry. Luckily, Golden and two of his boys were just passing by on the highway and they could see the situation. They were able to drive their pickup through the water to the house. First, Golden placed some baled straw against the cellar window to stop the water from running in so fast. They immediately went to work carrying things out of the cellar. Soon Mary arrived at the house and helped rescue things from the flooded cellar. My kitchen and dining room were full of boxes of bottled fruit and what not. Soon there was water over a foot deep running all around the house. The creek was not to be seen. The whole place looked like a river. We could see that the water pump for the house would soon be covered with water so we would have no clean water to use. We managed to get a few gallons of clean water, and it is fortunate that we did, because the pump was ruined from standing in water and I had to buy a new one. We had to do some scheming to make our limited supply of clean water last until someone could bring us some and we could get a new pump. How thankful we were that we got such kind help when it was so desperately needed. It was so much appreciated.

We wondered what would happen to those calves, the water was so deep in the yard where they were kept. There was one corner that was fenced off with net wire. That was the highest place in the yard. Those calves were smart enough to know that they had to find a safer place. The whole bunch of them made their way to that high corner and jumped over the wire fence to where they were safe.

Corby: Grandma Hope describes the flood of 1971 in her history on page 106.  I was one of the boys she mentioned who stopped with Dad to help her get her food storage out of the basement.  I can see the little phone box on the East side of the house that certainly wasn't around in '21.  Also, I remember when that picket gate by the highway was brand new -- I was very impressed by that as a boy.