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Deluge Floods Ketchum Wide Open as River Flooding Forces More Evacuations
These women combined as a human slinky for Saturday’s Ketchum Wide Open. PHOTO: Karen Bossick
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Monday, May 22, 2023



The players wearing snorkels and fins were best suited for the annual Ketchum Wide Open held Saturday in Ketchum.

Mini-golfers had barely gotten started making the rounds of creative mini-golf holes set up at Ketchum restaurants and bars when a thunderstorm settled over town in a surprise appearance, pelting the town with hail and a downpour of rain for nearly two hours.

Even youngsters putted the ball a bit in the annual cabin fever reliever that brings out mini-golfers to take on unusual holes crafted by Ketchum businesses. PHOTO: Karen Bossick

“We hid out in the bars!” said one duffer,

Golfers kept their humor about them and by 4 p.m. gofers clad as nuns, cowboys, even a human slinky were wandering the streets battling UV rays from the sun.

While the thunderstorm turned Ketchum streets into rivers of water, those just four miles south of Ketchum reported only a passing shower while Hailey residents reported nothing but a few thunderboomers.

The combination of rain and temperatures in the 60s was enough for the North Lbaine fire Department to request an additional evacuation of seven new homes on Gin Ridge Road in Gimlet as river water coursed around homes there.

A pirate takes a swing at a hole set up in The Argyros. PHOTO: Karen Bossick

Homes on Wilderness Drive remain in Ready status with residents instructed to be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.

Eleven homes along War Eagle Drive in Triumph Drive in Hailey were evacuated on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 16-17.

The maximum river stage in the 24 hours ending at 9:45 a.m. Sunday was 6.6 feet with the river forecast to peak at 7.1 feet Sunday afternoon as temperatures climbed into the mid-70s. Flood stage is 5.0 feet.

Those living along Warm Springs said some neighbors were beginning to see some minor flooding. There’s low level flooding between Ketchum and the SNRA headquarters with some flooding near Chocolate Gulch Road, Sun Peak Picnic Area.

Homes in the Della View subdivision of Hailey have built fortresses of sandbags and bladders to keep floodwaters from causing damage to homes. PHOTO: Muffy Ritz

River levels are expected to come down some by Tuesday morning as temperatures drop about 10 degrees into the mid-60s with nighttime lows of 36 and 39 degrees. Forecasters expected the river level to peak in early June.

Muffy Ritz took this photograph of a home’s very creative use of sandbagging

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