June 7 Flood Watch update
by Jim Mitchell, Sublette County Emergency Management Coordinator
June 8, 2011
SUBLETTE COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
SUBLETTE COUNTY 2011 FLOOD WATCH UPDATE
On June 3rd representatives from the Town of Pinedale, the U.S. Forest Service, local engineers and water rights holders met at the old dam site on Fremont Lake. The USFS recommended the Town draft a letter to the Forest Supervisor requesting action to either remove the old dam or a portion of the abutment east of the old dam. This would allow the new dam to operate at its full potential.
Bridger Teton National Forest Supervisor Jacqueline Buchanan approved the removal of a 20 foot wide section of the abutment east of the old dam to a depth of 3 feet.
At this time the project has been completed and the lake level and discharge amounts into Pine Creek and the Highland ditch are being regulated appropriately.
We are in the process of identifying possible residences downstream on Pine Creek, making assessments and offering any help to them in the event the high water breaches the Fremont Dam.
We have a mobile sandbag machine and it is ready for deployment to any area where it is needed.
We have adequate sandbags and resources available for now. We have identified a list of eight potential residences that could be impacted by flooding and have contacted those homeowners. The head gate on the Daniel levee is a potential weak spot. It has been suggested to replace the bridge at that location; south and west of Daniel Junction. If we need to do work on the Levee maintained by the County, it will be difficult to get heavy equipment on the rest of levee.
If needed, we have identified and have GPS information on a possible relief ditch that was used during the 1997 flooding in the Daniel area. We have permission from land owners to utilize the ditch again if needed.
We've had some high water concerns and have mitigated them at this time. Sandbags were placed at a residence in the Bondurant area and we have more standing by if needed. Landslide potential in the canyon is high in the event of heavy rain or high run off. We are working with WYDOT and County Road & Bridge to plan for issues that may arise.
Kendall Valley Area
At this time we have identified potential flooding sites and have made contact with three landowners. They all have plans and are aware of the procedure to get more help if and when they need it.
Big Piney Area
Again we are monitoring a residence along the river there. We had some minor flooding Sat May 29. An emergency response plan was activated and we were able to handle it with the help of the Town of Big Piney. We will be monitoring things for the next several weeks in this area.
We have areas of high water on the New Fork at this time although residents have not asked for any assistance as of yet. We will continue to monitor this area closely.
Overall, our Team and I feel we are well prepared. We feel we could handle any high water issue that may occur. We have placed efficient resources for now and are working with Homeland Security in the event we need further assistance. We feel we could get more help in short order if it is needed.
We also have a plan from last year addressing concerns at the New Fork Lake Dam. At this time things look good at that location.
We have release forms for residents to sign if we start doing work on private lands such as the aforementioned Daniel area.