Jackson residents ordered to evacuate from unstable hillside
View of the unstable hillside behind the Walgreens store in Jackson, Wyoming. Photo by Bob Rule, KPIN 101.1 FM Radio (taken Thursday, April 10, 2014).
Budge Drive area residents and buildings in danger
by Town of Jackson, Wyoming media release
April 10, 2014
JACKSON, WYOMING, 4/9/14, 7:45PM - Unified Incident Command issues evacuation order to residents of Budge Drive at 7:30 P.M. tonight (Wednesday, April 9th).
Based on additional information received from engineers and geologists advising the incident command team, Unified Incident Command has issued an evacuation order for all residents of Budge Drive, the Walgreens apartments, and commercial businesses in the Hillside Complex due to the instability of the hillside in this area and concern for the safety of residents and their ability to leave the area should events escalate. Updated information was received that indicated the hillside has moved at a deeper level underground causing further concern.
Residents began receiving the Evacuation Order at approximately 7:30 P.M. with orders to evacuate by 10:00 P.M. Mountain Standard Time, April 9, 2014, due to imminent public safety concerns. Residents were advised that once they had exited Budge Drive, they would not be allowed back to their residence. Additionally, residents were advised that if they had mobility issues or special needs they could contact TCSO Dispatch at 307-733-2331 for assistance.
Residents were also advised that the Jackson Teton County Animal Shelter would be open until 10:00 P.M. to accept animals needing boarding during this order.
Evacuees were asked to register at the Red Cross Trailer located in the Powderhorn Parking Lot so that notification could be provided to them once an evacuation order was lifted.
Jackson Police Department and Fire/EMS personnel began going door to door notifying residents of this order at approximately 7:30 P.M. Once the order is lifted, residents will be contacted through the contact information provided at the Red Cross trailer and through press releases and Nixle.
Rich Ochs, Teton County Emergency Management Coordinator, said, "Public safety is our number one priority and taking this action now instead of waiting is the best approach."
On April 6, 2014, the hillside movement caused the Town’s pump station at the northwest corner of Budge Drive and West Broadway Avenue to shift, which, in turn, caused a water main break. Town crews repaired water mains and addressed road damage related to the movement on the hillside. Town officials have been working closely with engineers and geologists to provide continuous monitoring of the area affected with numerous data points on the hillside to monitor movement.
The Town of Jackson will continue to work with engineers and geologists with expertise in the area of slope stabilization and will continue to monitor movement through tracking of the data points in the area. The Town will continue to consider and evaluate mitigation alternatives and methods to provide long term stabilization of the slope and alternative access.
Wednesday, August 9, 2014, 6:00PM:
Evacuation Advisory Issued
Jackson, WY. Town of Jackson provides evacuation advisory notice to residents and continues to monitor the hillside movement.
The Town of Jackson issued an evacuation advisory to residents of Budge Drive in response to a slight buckling of a portion of the roadway as well as additional movement of portions of the hillside. Additionally, Town crews worked to shut off and cap both water mains servicing the Budge Drive area today with water being provided through a temporary line on the roadway.
Earlier today, the Town of Jackson Building Official, Steve Haines, provided a Declaration of Unsafe Buildings and Notice to Vacate the Premises to Walgreens commercial space. The declaration indicated that they were to vacate as of 12:00 P.M. Thursday, April 10, 2014. Gas service to Walgreens has been capped as a precautionary measure. Walgreens informed Town officials that they intended to donate all perishable food items to the local food bank. Walgreens continues to fully cooperate with Town officials.
Teton County Public Health officials, in consultation with Walgreens, are advising persons needing to obtain a prescription to call their doctor and ask that another prescription be called in to a pharmacy of their choice.
Unified Co-Commander Willy Watsabaugh said, "The reason we’re acting now is to ensure that we have a plan in place should events escalate." Cole Nethercott, Co-Commander added, "Our highest priority is the safety of the residents in the area."
On April 6, 2014, the hillside movement caused the Town’s pump station at the northwest corner of Budge Drive and West Broadway Avenue to shift, which, in turn, caused a water main break. Town crews worked diligently over the past several days to successfully jackhammer through approximately 18 inches of concrete to repair that leak. Since that date Town officials have been working closely with engineers and geologists to provide continuous monitoring of the area affected with numerous data points on the hillside to monitor movement. The site continues to show movement in some areas but not others.
At this time, the areas of greatest concern that would be affected by a release of the hillside is the Walgreens commercial operation and the Town’s water pump station.
The Town of Jackson will continue to work with engineers and geologists with expertise in the area of slope stabilization. The Town will continue to consider and evaluate mitigation alternatives and methods to provide long term stabilization of the slope and possible alternative access. Rich Ochs, Teton County Emergency Management Coordinator, has been in contact with State of Wyoming officials to keep them apprised of the situation should the need for additional assistance be necessary. Should an evacuation order be necessary, the Incident Commander could make that declaration or the Jackson Town Council could also make that declaration.