March 8 6:48 p.m. 200 S. Rd 11 #13
March 9 8:47 a.m. 1420 Robertson
March 9 1:57 p.m. Deer Haven
March 9 11:07 p.m. 2714 Yellowstone
March 7 8:56 a.m. 320 Thomas
Worland temperatures: High 54, Low 31 precipitation: 0.00
Tuesday: Snow with areas of blowing snow before 9am, then a chance of snow between 9am and noon. High near 41. Breezy, with a north northwest wind 18 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Tuesday Night: Patchy fog after midnight. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a low around 19. North northwest wind 5 to 11 mph becoming south southeast after midnight.
Wednesday: Patchy fog before noon. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 48. Southeast wind around 6 mph.
Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 21. East southeast wind 5 to 8 mph.
Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 51. South southeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the afternoon.
Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 25. East wind 5 to 7 mph.
Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 51.
Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 28.
Sunset tonight: 7:08 p.m.
Sunrise tomorrow: 7:26 a.m.
DAILY NEWS photo by Lee Lockhart
Wyoming Honor Farm inmates worked late Saturday night filling sandbags, helping divert the ice-jammed Big Horn River from the Manderson community.
Residents wait for ice to flow
By Jeanette Johnson
WORLAND – The flooding that required evacuation of the area near Kiwanis
Riverside Park has moved north, putting residents in jeopardy around
Manderson and Greybull.
Most of Monday’s efforts were aimed at Greybull, said Public Information Officer Kelly Ruiz, who is with the Office of Homeland Security in Cheyenne. Greybull spokesman Kami Neighbors said the highest risk has passed but they are staging sandbags. Many of them were placed on the dike Sunday.
Four Greybull residents stayed at a motel Sunday night because they couldn’t stay in their homes, she said.
By Monday afternoon, the levees were holding and the Army Corps of Engineers planned to walk the perimeter and make sure everything looked good.
National Guard troops were in Greybull on Monday. The guardsmen filled sandbags for storage and took them around Washakie and Big Horn counties where they thought they might have runoff. They hoped to demobilize the guard troops on Tuesday.
Ice is built up on the shore and bank in Greybull, but the river is clear.
“Any water that comes down shouldn’t be held up again near Greybull,” Neighbors said.
Emergency responders are keeping a close eye on two ice jams in a 4-mile stretch of the Big Horn River between Rairden and Manderson as well as a half-mile spot north of the bridge outside of Manderson.
While the river has receded in Greybull, the Forest Service Smoke Jumpers and Department of Corrections Wranglers are filling sandbags in that area, Ruiz said.
Homeland Security is monitoring the situation in the two counties. Director Guy Cameron, Deputy Director Larry Majerus and Operations Unit Chief Kim Lee arrived to oversee what’s going on, Ruiz said. The three are checking on reports of damage to homes in Greybull and Manderson over the weekend. They are liaisons to the National Guard Unit.
Contrary to predictions, the weather didn’t warm up to 50 degrees, preventing the ice from melting, Manderson Mayor Randy Brown said.
On Sunday, town fire department volunteers watched the activity around Goose Island, near the ice jam south of town. A remote controlled aircraft was used to assess the ice jam north of Manderson, Brown said.
“We have a 20-foot stack of ice that’s on the toe of the jam,” he said. “Nothing can move. It’s too much weight.”
That adds to the worry that three or four inches of snow that melts, or rain, will create bigger problems.
The area east of the Manderson Bar was flooded but a house there didn’t get damaged despite the flood rising to the foundation. Judy McMahon’s house was sandbagged Saturday. While that was being done, a six-foot surge of water came in, forcing volunteers to remove cows, horses and people.
“We had to tow them and the water was over the top of the pickups we came out with,” he said.
Water running down the Nowood forced the closure of a road where the ice jammed. The road in front of the Manderson school was also closed because the area was used to dump sand. The school and sewer plant were sandbagged as a precaution. Further reinforcing was done as a preventive measure. Bags were piled six bags high near the railroad tracks where water oozed underneath. In other places, bags were placed three or four deep.
“The Corps won’t let us blast (the area north of town),” Brown said. “We’re kind of between a rock and a hard place right now.”
Since several phones have been disconnected as a result, volunteers have gone door to door, warning residents to listen for a large siren blast and head for town.
“It’s going to be a minute’s-notice thing,” he said.
In Ten Sleep, Norm Mullis reported ranchers are keeping a close watch on the Lower Nowood where there was still an ice jam that hadn’t moved as of Sunday night. He’s hopeful the temperatures will rise and melt the ice.
Homeland Security is also keeping in touch with the National Weather Service bureaus in Cheyenne and Riverton, relying on the hydrologist’s report. The National Guard is doing some reconnaissance, filling and putting sandbags in strategic locations.
The Washakie County Sheriff’s Office and Worland Police Department feel the danger of flooding has passed in Worland now that the water has been flowing smoothly since Friday afternoon.
Police Chief Gabe Elliott said nine residences sustained damage, forcing residents to find temporary housing.
Sheriff Steve Rakness said his department hasn’t received any calls from around the county of further problems. The ice had broken away from behind Devon Energy where the pipelines cross the river, which caused some concern for a time. Washakie County Search and Rescue focused on areas along West River Road and Hwy. 20 North, including Devon, contacting residents near the river to be prepared to evacuate if the river came up, S&R Captain Dave Michel said. By Sunday they were on stand-down.
All of the people who came to aid Worland and Washakie County have been relocated to Big Horn County, Elliott said.
“I know that very first day we filled 23,000 bags at the Wyoming Department of Transportation office,” he said.
He estimated 10 pallets were transferred to Ten Sleep. Sacks to fill with sand were sent to Big Horn County on Sunday night.
Elliott and Neighbors have posted all information as it comes in on the Washakie County Facebook page and the Town of Greybull Facebook page.
“Right now it’s looking good but we’re not discounting that something won’t happen,” Ruiz said.
National Weather Service Hydrologist Jim Fahey forecasted a couple inches of snow for Tuesday. Temperatures are predicted to drop somewhat but not to the point of forming ice on the rivers.
“It may slow the break-up of the ice,” he said.
Starting on Wednesday, temperatures will be mild and in the 50s through Friday, he said.
Northern Wyoming Daily News
201 N. 8th, Worland, Wyoming 82401
307-347-3241 - 1-800-788-4679 in Wyo.
©2011 All rights reserved.
Website design by Wyodaily Web Design