Responders Prepare For Imminent Flood [AUDIO]
Natrona County Emergency Management held a meeting in Casper Friday afternoon when agencies and officials gathered to talk about flooding next week. Lt. Stew Anderson said that this year the North Platte River is going to be a foot higher than last year's high water mark.
More water than last year's flooding:
"We've been calling these meetings for the agencies as the information changes on the North Platte River, on what it's going to do and what it is doing. Originally we were looking at release from Grey Reef at 6,500 cubic feet a second; it's at that point right now, as we speak. It will be raised a week from now; it will be at a level of possibly 7,200 cubic feet a second, which means we're going to see at least another could be a foot to foot and a half, depending on where you're at on the river."
Some areas of concern have already have been visited in Mills and Paradise Valley. One area of particular concern is the water treatment plant, so the plan is to build a barrier around the plant next Tuesday, a day ahead of a Wednesday release from Grey Reef. It's that release on Wednesday that's going push the water levels up an extra foot.
Build berm around water plant:
"That will start on Tuesday. We're not going to see any increased flows from where it is now, till late the afternoon of Wednesday on we'll see our first increase next week, so we just have to get our game-plan together to make sure it's done efficiently and done correctly, so we shot for Tuesday, working with the town of Mills on getting that protection set up."
They also plan to build a berm to protect a few homes in a low spot in Mills on Van Horn Avenue.
Casper Fire Chief Mark Young was at the meeting and he said anyone near the water, especially during Memorial Day weekend, should have on a life jacket. And it's not just the amount of water, a release from his department says the water temperature is about 47 degrees, and that in water this cold, someone has about nine minutes before hypothermia will cause incapacity.