Waters rising, Bonner County declares State of Emergency

BONNER COUNTY, Idaho - Bonner County is under a State of Emergency due to flooding from Thursday's heavy rains. Eight roads have washed out in the rural part of the county, leaving emergency management scrambling to fix the roads.

The declaration could make the county eligible for federal financial assistance in the cleanup. County Commissioners estimates there could be as much as $500 thousand in damage, but to qualify for federal assistance there needs to be as much as $1.6 million in damage throughout the state.

Commissioners are traveling the roads through rural Bonner County to draw up estimates of the damage. There is no time line for how long it would take to obtain the federal monies.

Bonner County State of Emergency Flooding

Meantime, homeowners who live a secluded, quiet life in Bonner County are stuck until the flood waters recede. Glen Frye is used to the flooding; he's lived in rural Bonner County for 50 years.

"Hard to plant a garden," he joked. "They just float down, put them in and they float down."

The 88-year-old takes it all in stride. After all, Frye says, flooding comes with the territory of living along a lake. At least three times since he's lived in Bonner County his dock has washed away.

"It's not something we appreciate, but we're a Christian family and we just take the lord at his word, if he said we need water, we've got water," Frye said.

He explained that during one flood season his tied his boat to the back door so he could get around. After years of flooding, he and his wife finally build a retaining wall against their house to further protect it from damage.

The waters will recede in about a week, he explained, and life will return to normal – until the next time.

"It's kind of like a swimming pool, but most people don't want to go swimming during the winter, so we don't charge if they want to," Frye said chuckling.