Mud and rock slides pose threat near Warm Springs Mesa area

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - With steady rainfall in the forecast, there is concern over potential rock slides near the Warm Springs Mesa in Boise.

Ada County Highway District says with steady rain, the hilly terrain in the Warm Springs Mesa area become prone to rock and mud slides.

"All the wet weather, the mountain soaks it in a little bit and then there's not much vegetation on the slopes so the rocks come rolling down and become a traffic hazard," Ada County Highway District utility lead Terry Dice said.

When it rains, it pours. On the steep slopes of the hillside, things can also slide.

Because of that, Terry Dice has been patrolling the area since 12 a.m. Friday. He drives up and down the mesa every couple of hours, checking to see if any rocks are falling on the roadways.

"In the daytime like today we're looking at the road and the slope of the hill for any potential hazards that could come down," Dice said.

Dice says he knows the area well, however he thinks conditions this year are especially dangerous.

"They had some goats up here on the mountain cleaning up some of the brush and stuff (this summer) and that kind of led to some of the problems that we're running into now," he said. "A lot of the vegetation is not holding the dirt in place."

Crews say most of the rocks they find on the road are relatively small, but yesterday a large boulder rolled off the hill and onto the road.

"It just happened by luck of the draw I guess that the mud went ahead and let go of that rock," Dice said. "It hit the center of the mountain where the hole is. The next spot that it hit was by the guard rail."

Dice said crews had to use a loader to move that particular rock back onto the hill, however he says slides with big rocks like that are rare.

ACHD said it's a good reminder to drivers to always pay attention while driving in the area, and to slow down.