Greybull Levee performs as designed, reducing risks from ice jam flooding in Wyoming ~Eileen Williamson, DVIDS

Posted on March 14, 2014 By

GREYBULL, Wyo. – As a series of ice jams moving along the Bighorn River near Worland, Wyo., caused river stages to rise, the state of Wyoming requested technical assistance on March 7 from the Omaha District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The state cited concerns related to protecting critical infrastructure including a levee, tower and local bridge. With warmer temperatures and precipitation in the forecast, state officials were concerned about snow melt, the formation of additional ice jams and flooding that was occurring in Worland, Wyo.

An ice jam that had earlier impacted the town of Worland with flooding in some neighborhoods and businesses dislodged and continued moving along the Bighorn River jamming and flooding at each bend in the river.

By the evening of March 9, the nearly two-mile long ice jam broke apart allowing the Bighorn River to return to its channel. A post-flood inspection of the Greybull, Wyo., levee and the city’s lagoon pond dikes showed the levee performed as designed enduring the ice jamming and experiencing no visible damage from the chunks and slabs of ice that had caused water levels to rise.

By the evening of March 9, the nearly two-mile long ice jam broke apart allowing the Bighorn River to return to its channel. A post-flood inspection of the Greybull, Wyo., levee and the city’s lagoon pond dikes showed the levee performed as designed enduring the ice jamming and experiencing no visible damage from the chunks and slabs of ice that had caused water levels to rise.

“With ice jams, it’s hard to look at a gauge and predict river stages between locations,” said Chris Horihan, Natural Disaster Program manager for the Omaha District Readiness Branch. “A jam can cause stages to drop in front of it and rise behind it and then even out as soon as it dislodges. It all depends on how much water is flowing beneath the jam.”

In the next town, Manderson, water began flowing along the railroad tracks, however, sandbagging crews were able to divert the flow into the town’s storm sewers. Read more.

Corps of EngineersFloodFlood FightingIce jamsNatural DisasterNWS     , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Leave a Reply