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Kootenai County Selling Sandbags To Residents At Cost

Sat., Jan. 4, 1997

Melting ice on Lake Fernan was making Fernan Village residents nervous as water started creeping onto their lawns Friday.

“If this stuff melts and we get a thaw, we’re in trouble,” said Fernan Village Mayor Marilyn Tierney.

Residents of Fernan, French Gulch, Hauser Lake and other areas still at risk of flooding have been calling Kootenai County Disaster Services looking for sandbags to protect their lawns, garages and basements, said Sandy Von Behren, disaster services operations coordinator.

“We’re getting a lot of calls,” Von Behren said.

Because no one locally supplies sandbags, the county established a policy to sell them to residents at cost, or 35 cents a bag, Von Behren said.

The county started distributing the bags to all fire stations in the county on Thursday. County residents can go to any fire station and purchase bags during business hours.

As the county sells the bags, it will replenish its stock from Justus Bag Company in Spokane, the closest supplier.

Bags and sand are sold separately, however. Sand is available at area concrete companies.

All flood warnings were canceled for North Idaho by Thursday, and on Friday the weather forecast called for cooler temperatures and clearing skies.

The Panhandle only had isolated cases of flooding from swollen streams and plugged storm drains.

In Shoshone County, for example, the county government identified eight locations where some road damage occurred, said commissioner Sherry Krulitz.

“Compared to February, these things really do seem minor,” she said.

But damage in Latah County and further south was extensive enough for Gov. Phil Batt and Sen. Dirk Kempthorne to ask for federal assistance.

If the state gets a federal emergency declaration, then Shoshone, Bonner and Boundary counties may be eligible for federal funds to cover damage caused by excessive snow or flood problems.

Latah County Disaster Services announced that individuals, businesses and public entities in the county that suffered damages from this week’s flood should register their claims with the Latah County Damage Assessment Team.

Call 882-8580, ext. 306 to register a claim.

, DataTimes

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