Jun 21, 2017 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff WriterEmergency officials are warning citizens to remain vigilant near local waterways as flows begin to recede this summer.
With temperatures in the 60s and 70s at higher elevations, water levels will remain high through at least next week, Fremont County Emergency Management said in a press release Wednesday, and rivers and streams will continue to fluctuate with rainfall and snowmelt.
"Weather conditions and river levels can change rapidly and without warning," the press release states. "Flood waters can be fast and unpredictable."
Officials ask the public to stay out of the water and away from the water's edge, as soil instability may cause rapid erosion. Don't drive into flooded areas, either.
"It only takes a few inches of fast moving water to take you or your vehicle down river," the press release states, noting that, nationwide, flooding results in more weather-related deaths than all other weather hazards combined.
The hazardous conditions will remain in place until snowpack is down to a minimal level, according to the press release. National Weather Service meteorologists this week said that because snow in the Wind River Mountains is melting so much later than usual, the Wind River Basin likely will have high water for months.
At the end of the day Tuesday there still was 21 inches of snow at 9,580 feet on Togwotee Pass, where the snow-water equivalent was 11.3 inches Wednesday.
Closer to Lander at Hobbs Park (10,100 feet) there was 9 inches of snow, for a SWE of 3.4 inches. And on the southern end of the Wind River Mountains there was 6 inches of snow at the Deer Park Snotel (9,700 feet), the equivalent to 3.1 inches of water.
The Washakie Ranger District of Shoshone National Forest has opened Limestone Road,or Forest Service Road 326. As a result, a larger system of Forest Service roads is now open on the Washakie Ranger District.
However, the road to Wolf Point remains impassable three miles past its junction with FSR 352.
The Green Mountain and Red Canyon areas are now open to motorized vehicles as well, but the Bureau of Land Management will delay the opening of the Shoshone Lake Road due to continuing heavy precipitation and snowmelt.
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