Bureau of Reclamation to lower water levels to aid missing BASE jumper search

Lowering the water begins 90 miles up river at American Falls
Published: Jun. 22, 2020 at 6:03 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT) - The Bureau of Reclamation plans to lower the water levels to aid in the search of a missing swimmer and known BASE jumper near Pillar Falls.

Austin Carey was last seen last Thursday after a successful BASE jump near Pillar Falls with a friend.

After their jump last Thursday, Austin’s friend swam across the river and waited for Austin. A kayaker came up to the friend and gave him Austin’s gear, saying, “Austin would be right over.”

Sunday, Carey’s family members pleaded with the Bureau of Reclamation to lower water levels in the Snake River to aid in the search for Austin.

“The crossing the river to get back out again that was the problem and that is why we are really imploring the Bureau of Reclamation to please give us this one day to turn down the water,” said Carey’s aunt Tamera Davis.

Brian Stevens is the water manager for the bureau. He tells KMVT they are in the process of lowering the water level, but it takes time.

“By noon tomorrow, flow in the Snake River will be as low as it could be, and near 0 cfs at the Milner Dam. And we are looking at having a window, supplying a window to search efforts down there in the Twin Falls area for upwards of 24-36 hours,” Stevens said.

Stevens says the process of lowering water levels in the river is a large process. Stevens says to lower the water at Pillar Falls, levels must begin to fall at American Falls. That’s nearly 90 miles up river.

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