[Morning Briefs] Weather Wreaks Havoc on Southeast Idaho

23 Feb

A semi truck lies on its side after strong gusts of wind blew it over on I-15 yesterday afternoon. (Photo by KPVI)

Sorry to just gab about the weather here, but wasn’t the weather nuts yesterday? Homes actually flooded! People lost power! A semi blew over on the highway! In other crazy news, Idaho Sen. John McGee is calling it quits after new sexual harassment allegations. This after the DUI/grand theft from the summer. In your sad news of the day, the Pocatello Gateway Station post office will officially close in about a year. But that weather! Geez!

  • It’s not quite the winter wonderland Idahoans love this time of year. Aside from a few flurries of snow last night, southeast Idaho was hit with flash floods that gushed into the basements of several homes. In Ammon, waters from the nearby canal flooded into a neighborhood, flowing into basements as firefighters fought to stop the onslaught. Down river, volunteers and more firefighters filled sandbags to try to prevent further flooding from the canal. In Ririe, flood waters flooded a nearly-remodeled basement of a home, destroying all progress (ouch). The high winds and warm temperatures caused snow to melt in higher elevations and trigger the flood. [LN8, LN8, LN8]
  • Flooding wasn’t all the damage done by Wednesday’s weather. High winds also knocked out power to customers in Pocatello, Chubbuck and Blackfoot. About 1,427 customers in Pocatello/Chubbuck alone were without power last night. The affected area ran from East Chubbuck Road to Pocatello Creek Road, as well as Ada and Fairway Roads. In Blackfoot about 100 people lost power, from 20 West to 95 West and 400 North to 600, as well as East Riverside Road. Idaho Power is working to slowly bring that power back to customers. [KPVI]
  • Pocatello’s Gateway Station post office will officially close within a year to a year and a half. The announcement came yesterday, on the heels of news that the Chubbuck post office will also be closing. While the U.S. Postal Service is contractually obligated to place all workers who lose jobs in the nation-wide downsizing, Elaine Hunt, steward for the American Postal Workers Union, said she isn’t confident that will happen in Pocatello. The Postal Service will release a press release on the matter this morning. [ISJ]
  • New allegations of sexual harassment against Idaho Sen. John McGee have led to his resignation from the state legislature. He is accused of sexually harassing a senate staffer, although details have not been released. McGee is no stranger to run-ins with the law. In June 2011, he was charged with grand theft and driving under the influence for stealing a truck after a day of drinking at a golf tournament. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor DUI back in July. He has also come under fire for accepting about $6,000 in annual money meant to defray costs of legislators’ needing to stay in Boise during session, despite the fact that he only lives 30 minutes from the capitol.  With the new allegations he’s just going to call it quits. [TN]
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