Della Mountain avalanche causes Big Wood River to flood

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HAILEY, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - An avalanche on Della Mountain blocked the Big Wood River and caused flooding in the Della Vista subdivision on Monday morning.

“It avalanched sometime late last night or very early this morning. A slab avalanche that was about 12 inches to 16 inches deep and 700 feet wide and travelled 1,400 vertical feet,"said Ethan Davis, forecaster for Sawtooth Avalanche Center. "It cascaded down the slope, blocked the Big Wood River, in a couple of different places actually likely, and diverted the river into the Draper Preserve which runs alongside a neighborhood there. Eventually, it found its way through the Draper and started pushing out onto the road."

Avalanches are being reported throughout the Wood River Valley, including at least five out Warm Springs Road.

The Sawtooth Avalanche Center is warning that you don’t just have to be in the backcountry right now to be in avalanche danger. You can be down on the flats anywhere in the valley and if there is a mountain or hill behind you that is 30 degree slope or higher, you could be in an avalanche’s path.

“What we’ve done is we issued an avalanche warning, which means that natural avalanches are likely and they’re likely to be large, large enough harm or kill a person. And they’re essentially widespread. So they’re happening on any steep slope greater than about 30 degrees,” said Davis.

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