River Reaches Flood Stage Tomorrow [AUDIO]
The North Platte River is going to rise even more today (Wednesday) with the latest release of water from the spring runoff. The river is expected to reach more than 8,000 cubic feet per second through Casper, which is about 7.4 feet high, and because of that high water, boat ramps upstream are now closed, says Emergency Management Coordinator Lt. Stew Anderson.
Boat ramps upstream closed:
"The city has closed the boat ramps, starting at Robertson Road going downstream to the walking bridge at the whitewater park, and that's basically due to the swift water and the very low bridge clearances between Robertson Road on downstream to the whitewater park."
Lt. Anderson says the river is at flood stage at 8 feet high, and with another increase in the Grey Reef release Wednesday night, the river could hit flood stage by Thursday afternoon, which will add to the flooding already found in low-lying areas such as the Platte River Parkway.
Half a foot to flood stage:
"And then they will up that release even more to the 8,000 (cfs) from Grey Reef so that means we'll see about 8,400 here, which will mean a few more inches, and that may push it to the 8-foot level by tomorrow at this time."
At a May 27th emergency management meeting, Jeff Geotz with WYDOT voiced concern about how little clearance there was between the water and the Wyoming Boulevard Bridge that crosses the river at Mills. Anderson says that bridge in particular is one of the reasons they closed the boat ramps upstream.
Bridge into Mills bears watching:
"There was about only two foot of clearance, so we have the worry about anybody going underneath that which is one reason upstream of that the boat ramps have closed and we have to watch those bridge abutments on each side to make sure we don't see any severe erosion, as well as any debris getting stuck underneath that bridge."
The river current is swift, says Anderson, so if you're near the water, you should be wearing a life jacket.