Friday, December 26, 2008

Winter Storms Rock Idaho

Jake Putnam photo
More Snow Expected

Pocatello--Highway 21 is closed form milepost 93 to milepost 105, while Interstate 84 near Rupert is closed from its junction with U.S. Interstate 86 to the Utah state line, according to the Idaho Transportation Department.

On State Highway 36, the stretch between Weston and Malad is also closed due to reduced visibility and drifting snow.

This week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is urging people to be prepared for problems associated with lots of snow.

Dennis Hunsinger, of FEMA says it's not just the snow, its two feet of snow in SE Idaho and the quick thaw that worries the agency "We all live in an area prone to seasonal flooding and winter storms. There is no need to panic but there is a need - and a very real one - to be prepared just in case."

Monday a massive storm system ripped the Northwest, closing highways, airports and making life difficult for people attempting just to get out of the driveway and go to the store.

While it wasn't 'the big storm', more snow is expected and Northwest FEMA Acting Administrator Dennis Hunsinger is hoping to prepare all households before it does.

Hunsinger says people need to ready for the worst. "All households should stock emergency supplies for 72 hours of relative independence until systems come back on line or help arrives. And we're not talking about a major expense here; it may just be a matter of securing sleeping bags, lanterns, cook stoves, and first aid kits."

In that 72-hour kit, food, water, and prescription medications - enough for help to arrive, which may take hours or even days.

Hunsinger says the chance of a sustained power outage is very real in these times. "During a power outage, turn off all appliances, computers, and lights except for one to let you know when the power is back on."

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