High water is threatening to flood several northwest Wyoming communities, including Clark, Meeteetse, Wapiti, and the South Fork near Cody. Park County’s Emergency Management Coordinator is watching the rivers closely.
Rolling muddy water is covering banks, and slamming into bridges on the North Fork of the Shoshone River, and the South Fork near Cody. On the Wood River near Meeteetse, and the Clark’s Fork in Clark Park County’s Emergency Management officer, Mart Knapp, spent the day inspecting them all. We found him near Meeteetse, south of Cody.
Knapp explained, “ This bridge is kind of a choke point. So the concern is, with high water it could start washing out a bridge abutment.”
Ironically flooding often happens after the hot sun goes down.
Knapp explained, “You’re not going to see that high water, like at Wapiti, or like the South Fork before, even at Valley, until midnight, or two or three o'clock in the morning.”
So, Knapp said people should give him a call if they see water getting too close to their property, early..
“Don’t wait until eight o'clock at night….so if it does look like there’s going to be a problem, you know we can help you deal with it, instead of trying to deal with it at midnight, when it is running over.”
While a huge amount of water is flowing into area reservoirs, like Boysen, Buffalo Bill, and Big Horn, their levels remain.
The Buffalo Bill reservoir remains nearly half full, because Bureau of Reclamation managers sometimes released four hundred percent of the normal amount of water through the dam gates in May. The Bureau of Rec manager in Montana reported snowpack was near two percent in Northwest Wyoming…
But, Knapp says the reservoir is already rising.
He remarked, “With the high water over the weekend, the inflow’s going to increase, and it’s going to be almost double what the outflow is.”
And, Knapp said the rivers will rise even more, this week.
“We’ve got a ways yet to go before we see the end of our high water.”
If you live in Park County, and think you may be flooded, you should call the Park County dispatch at 307-527-8700.