By Jeff Rebitski, Staff Writer
“Please pay close attention to the water levels if you live by or are recreating near rivers and streams. Fremont County will experience high water levels and Flood Advisory” is what was disclosed in a press release from the Fremont County Office of Emergency Management.
Black Bridge should be avoided until an assessment can be done as there is tree debris against the bridge, grasses are high, and you may not be able to see the water level in areas along the banks. Also included was The Little and Big Wind Rivers have reached “near flood stage”. If you need sandbags in the Riverton area call Vonda Huish at 307-850-8986 or Kathy Osborne at 307-349-0957. You will need to provide your own sand and fill the bags. Property owners are responsible for the removal of the sandbags afterwards.
Lander was not left out as they offered sand bag filling at the Lander Street Maintenance Facility located at the South end of Buena Vista. So far the path behind the courthouse and the sidewalk is currently closed due to flooding.
In speaking with Vanda Huish, Fremont County’s Coordinator of Emergency Management, she stated that with the levels being what they are, and the threat of precipitation looming for the evening, please be prepared and never drive through water covering the roads. Always be cautious of small creeks as flash flooding is always a danger. Follow all advisories and familiarize yourself with safety procedures for the road and your homes if you live near or in a floodplain. Keep pets and children away from the water’s edge as land can break away without notice.
Jason Straub, head meteorologist from the National Weather Service office in Riverton states. “Most of the rivers and streams have peaked as of this morning and there is little chance for additional precipitation for the next few days. The initial flood warnings were due to snow melt in the higher elevations. The higher elevations reached the sixty degree mark this weekend and caused significant runoff to affect lower elevation waterways. There are lower peaks for the next few days with no significant issues predicted.”
- Gather emergency supplies, including non-perishable food and water. Store at least 1 gallon of water per day for each person and each pet. Store at least a 3-day supply.
- Listen to your local radio or television station for updates.
- Have immunization records handy (or know the year of your last tetanus shot).
- Store immunization records in a waterproof container.
- Bring in outdoor items (lawn furniture, grills, trash cans) or tie them down securely.
- If evacuation appears necessary, turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve.
- Leave areas subject to flooding such as low spots, canyons, washes, etc. (Remember: avoid driving through flooded areas and standing water.)
- Keep medications on hand with you if you have to leave. Keep in waterproof bags.
These tips from the National Center for Environmental Health will help keep you safe in the event of a flood.