Flooding Potential Increases | Big Horn Basin Media

Flooding Potential Increases on Shoshone River

Written by on March 22, 2017

The potential for flooding from the mountain snowpack melting this spring and early summer has increased in parts of central and western Wyoming.

Portions of the North and South Forks of the Shoshone River have been added to the list of river basins where there is a moderate to high potential for flooding when the snowmelt gets underway in earnest in May and June.

Because of this potential for flooding, above average inflows are expected for the Buffalo Bill Reservoir, and Mahonrai Williams with the Bureau of Reclamation says that they are making plans to anticipate that runoff.

The Bureau of Reclamation’s Wyoming Area Manager, Carlie Ronca, says that the bureau has scheduled a one-time flushing flow in the Shoshone River downstream of Buffalo Bill Dam. The purpose of the flow is to mobilize and remove sediment which was deposited in the river channel downstream of Willwood Dam last fall.

Flows in the river below Buffalo Bill Dam will be increased from about 2,000 cubic feet per second to 4,000 on April 3, and that will be maintained through April 14, when flows will be reduced back down to 2,000 cfs.

The Bureau says that flows of 4,000 cfs or more in the Shoshone River below Buffalo Bill Dam are not unusual during peak summer snowmelt runoff periods, but the flows will be high for this time of year. The public is urged to use extreme caution during this period below Buffalo Bill Dam.

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