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Best of the West: Flooding bedevils states, Plains fire damage mounts, WiFi for Lake Mead

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The Western Governors' Association keeps you updated on news of the West. Here are the western stories for the week starting March 20, 2017, that you don't want to miss.

Lake Coure DaleneFlooding at Lake Coeur d'Alene (KREM) Flooding continues to cause considerable challenges across the West. The latest:

  • Idaho: Water levels are dropping in the state, but U.S. Geological Survey officials said the Coeur d’Alene River had been flowing at its fastest rate in more than four decades, sweeping away a car in the area.
  • Montana: Early snowmelt and waterlogged ground has produced landslides, mudslides, erosion and damage to roads and railroad lines.
  • Wyoming: State residents are bracing for flood watches and warnings, given lingering warm temperatures and high levels of snowpack.
  • California: Relief finally appears to be on its way, as storms subside, but cleanup and repairs of the Oroville Dam alone could cost upwards of $200 million. Nearly six weeks after the crisis began, the evacuation advisory notice for residents was lifted, but repair crews are still scrambling to make the necessary fixes before the next rainy season begins this fall.

Western Wildfires: The fires in Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma are nearly all contained and the Agriculture Department has designated $6 million to fund relief for farmers and ranchers who have lost of millions of acres of land and livestock. In Colorado, short-lived wildfires near Boulder, Littleton and Indian Hills prompted evacuations, shut down a highway, and charred hundreds of acres.

Meter's ticking: The Daily Beast reports "time is ticking" on the law that prohibits parking meters on North Dakota streets. Now that the legislature is debating a bill to end the ban, learn how the process has divided the family responsible for the ban.

Standoff Trials: In Oregon, a federal judge found four men guilty of various misdemeanors for their roles in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation. Testimony from an undercover FBI agent began in Nevada in the trial of six men who took part in the 2014 Bunkerville standoff in that state.

Nautical WiFi? Officials at the popular tourist destination Lake Mead National Recreation Area announced plans to provide Wi-Fi access as early as this summer.

See last week's Best of the West

ATTEND OUR ANNUAL MEETING: Read the agenda and register for the 2017 WGA Annual Meeting, hosted by Gov. Steve Bullock June 26-28 in Whitefish, Montana. More

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