Drier May – But Flooding Still Threatens
Written by Andrew-Rossi on June 19, 2017
A drier May has helped to mitigate the flooding that threatens to spill over riverbanks, and in some cases, highways.
According to the National Weather Service, Wyoming’s May 2017 precipitation was 80 to 85 percent of average, but the total current water year precipitation is averaging 135 to 140 percent of normal across Wyoming. Early June mountain snowpack across the state was 220 to 230 percent of the thirty year average, and above to much above normal snowmelt streamflow volumes are still expected across most major basins in Wyoming. Wyoming reservoir storages are 125 to 135 percent of average for June.
But a second round of rising flood water flowing across highway 26 west of Riverton late Saturday night has forced Wyoming Department of Transportation personnel to close that highway until water recedes.
WYDOT personnel are stationed at the road-closed gates on each end of the closure, and they are available to assist drivers with information regarding detours. Water is flowing across the highway at milepost 104, about 30 miles west of Riverton.
Flood waters from the Wind River began rising earlier this month, and water started impacting Highway 26 on June 7. Lower mountain temperatures and a cold front led to water receding and the highway reopening Sunday morning, June 11. Now a week later, the highway is closed again.