Flood Update – Press Release

Stephen Malik, Public Information Officer
Lincoln County Emergency Management
pio@lcwy.org
AFTON, Wyoming – Temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s throughout the County have led to significant increases in snowmelt and runoff. The Salt River is under flood advisory as of Tuesday morning. The river is currently in action stage, but forecast to cross into minor flood stage by Tuesday evening and remain there through the end of the week. If warm temperatures persist, additional rise of the river is likely. If you live in the floodplain, take immediate action to protect your property.
Spring Creek and Crow Creek have overtopped their banks in and near Fairview. Water has encroached upon the roadways in Fairview, and Lincoln County Road & Bridge has closed Fairview North and Fairview South roads near the intersection with Crow Creek Road. There has also been damage to private roadways in the area, preventing access to some homes.
In the Freedom area, Tincup and Jackknife creeks are also flowing out of their banks in some locations, flooding livestock areas.
County and State resources are assisting with repairs to a levee NorthEast of Cokeville.
Homes throughout affected areas may experience subsurface water seeping up along waterways. Early preparation is key to mitigating flood impact to residential areas.
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, structures, property, and equipment.
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. Ultimately, the responsibility for protection of homes and property lies with the owner. Ensure that you have the proper insurance coverage for the area that you reside in.
Lincoln County Emergency Management will continue to provide information to residents and responders within our County to help everyone make informed decisions.

Safety is paramount

Whether or not flooding occurs in your area, waterways will be running high and swift. This increases danger to everyone near them, and especially for children.
If water covers all or part of a roadway, avoid driving through it, as you do not know the condition of the roadway underneath the water. Flooding can severely damage roadways and you risk damage to your vehicle or worse.
Flood waters can be contaminated with bacteria and other unhealthy substances. Avoid flood waters, and practice good hygiene at all times. Flooded structures, including homes, are at risk for mold, which can cause health problems for people and pets.

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)
(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.
SNOTEL SNOTEL is an automated system of snowpack and related climate sensors operated by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the United States Department of Agriculture in the Western United States. There are over 730 SNOTEL (or snow telemetry) sites in 11 states, including Alaska.
Snow Water EquivalentSnow Water Equivalent (SWE) is a common snowpack measurement. It is the amount of water contained within the snowpack. It can be thought of as the depth of water that would theoretically result if you melted the entire snowpack instantaneously.
For additional information, contact:
Stephen Malik, Public Information Officer
Lincoln County Emergency Management
pio@lcwy.org
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