Flooding Press Release #2

Stephen Malik, Public Information Officer
Lincoln County Emergency Management
pio@lcwy.org
AFTON, Wyoming – The National Weather Service in Riverton, WY has issued a Flood Warning for all of Lincoln County as of late Wednesday. Salt River tributaries along the West side of Star Valley are rising significantly due to higher temperatures in the past week, and also precipitation both in the valley and surrounding mountains. Flooding has also begun near Cokeville.
Crow Creek has begun flooding low-lying areas in and around Fairview. Water levels have risen dramatically in the last few days. Flooding is encroaching upon roadways in the surrounding area, and nearing structures in the area as well. Tincup and other West-side tributaries of the Salt River are also fast becoming bank-full and beginning to flood surrounding areas. The Bear River, near Cokeville, has also begun flooding West of town, and also downstream towards Border. Residents in all areas of the County are encouraged to stay vigilant and ensure that preparations have been made to mitigate potential damage to homes, other structures, and equipment.
In coming days and weeks, as warmer temperatures begin to affect the upper elevations, this can dramatically increase flow rates in rivers and streams, potentially well above current levels. Waterways are being monitored continuously for flood risk in populated areas. Significant amounts of snow still remain in the flat areas along the valley floor in Star Valley. Many areas also have significant amounts of standing water in fields, due to snowmelt and precipitation. Residents should prepare for additional flooding along these waterways, and possibly at levels that have not been seen in recent years. Runoff season has only begun, and additional flooding is expected.
Lincoln County Emergency Management is focused primarily on critical infrastructure protection, but will also make resources available for local residents to help protect their own homes. We are also coordinating with local municipalities to ensure that needed resources are on hand.
There are currently no reports of homes directly affected by flooding waterways, but many homes and other structures lie in areas of risk. Early preparation is key to mitigating flood impact to residential areas.
Stay informed
Residents are encouraged to stay informed by monitoring the National Weather Service – Riverton forecast office (www.weather.gov/riw),local radio stations, and social media (https://www.facebook.com/LincolnCountyOHS/). Lincoln County Emergency Management will give updates as situations change throughout the area.
Prepare your home
If you know that you are at risk of flooding, take actions to protect your home and property before the flooding begins. Move equipment and valuable items to higher ground, create barriers, and have flood insurance if you live in the floodplain. Have supplies and tools on hand to make additional provisions if needed. Ultimate responsibility for homes and property lies with the owner.
Be aware of alert systems
In emergency situations, notification is critical. Lincoln County currently has mass-call capability through a system called CodeRED, which allows us to notify people of urgent or emergent situations via phone, text, email, and through CodeRED app alerts. If you have a landline, your numbers are automatically added to the system once a year. If you need alerts on a cell phone, or other devices, go to our website (www.lcwy.org) and click on the “CodeRED” button to enter your cell phone or email information.
Another great source for emergency alerts is NOAA Weather Radio Public Alerts. If you have a weather radio with the Public Alert function, it can lie dormant until an alert is issued, at which time it will set off a tone and provide a warning message. This system is utilized not only for weather alerts, but also for other emergencies like Amber Alerts, Boil water orders, etc. For any questions, contact Lincoln County Emergency Management.
If you are affected by flooding
If flooding occurs in basements, pumps may be used to force water back outside your home, and to mitigate further damage to property. Channel water away from your home by digging trenches or using barriers. If you live inside a municipality, contact your local government leaders and notify them of the situation in your area. For residents living outside municipalities, or for any special needs situations or questions, please contact Lincoln County Emergency Management.
Report flooding through Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office dispatch at: (307)885-5231 (Star Valley Area) or (307)877-3971 (Cokeville, Kemmerer, LaBarge Areas).
Sandbags are available for public use by contacting us through LCSO dispatch in your area.
Definitions:
Advisory – An advisory is an informational statement. Advisories give a “heads up” to help you know what may be possible in the short term so that you can take it into account when planning your daily activities.
Watch – A watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a significant weather event. When a watch is in effect, you should prepare yourself for in case action needs to be taken during an event.
Warning – Warnings are issued when a severe weather event is occurring or is imminent. This signifies the time to take immediate action.
For additional information, contact:
Stephen Malik, Public Information Officer
Lincoln County Emergency Management
pio@lcwy.org
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