South Pass Flooding Avoided
Written by Andrew-Rossi on May 19, 2017
It’s the weekend, and for travelers headed southwest in the state, be aware that you might see some major flooding in South Pass.
Highway 28 remains open over South Pass after Wyoming Department of Transportation maintenance workers cut through a pair of highway approaches Wednesday, allowing snow runoff waters to drain from a pair of old mine ponds.
WYDOT South Pass maintenance foreman Mike Hitshew says that water from the mine ponds were threatening to flow across the highway. A week ago South Pass maintenance workers built sand berms on each side of the highway, about 28 miles south of Lander, but on Wednesday the rising pond water began seeping through the berms. The cuts made in the highway approaches won’t drain the ponds, Hitshew says, but they will help to drop water levels near the highway.
Hitshew has worked on South Pass since June of 1987, and he says he believes this past winter is the heaviest snow year he’s witnessed on the pass. Instead of 20-inch snows, 30 inches fell – and he says it’s all beginning to melt.