Flood threat subsides as ice jams clear town

Flood anxieties were eased last weekend after a pair of ice jams plaguing the area broke apart and moved upstream, dramatically lowering the creeping river height.
According to a statement put out by the Big Horn County Office of Emergency Management, the ice jam has made its way through the county without issue and has been deposited at the causeway near Lovell.
“It appears that as the flow of water opened up in the middle of the stream, the ice chunks were pushed even further to the side,” the statement read. “As the water receded, the ice chunks just sat down on the banks and stood there, leaving a much smaller and more manageable amount to flow safely through the river.”
Greybull was largely spared from the brunt of the floodwater that impacted Worland, Manderson and Basin. Water slightly encroached the eastern bank of town — the side without a levee – but didn’t go higher than the frisbee golf course.
While low-lying properties on the north end of town were among areas of concern, few reports came in regarding floodwater encroaching on their property.
According to several reports, M-I SWACO was forced to halt operations after flooding created impassable road conditions. As of press time, calls to M-I SWACO were not returned, possibly due to flood impact.
“It’d be nice if every incident wasn’t an emergency,” said Greybull Town Administrator Paul Thur.
Thur, along with other municipal and county officials, spent the better part of the last two weeks coordinating an inter-agency response to the flood threat.
“The levee was built to protect us in times like these,” he continued, “and it is performing as designed.”
The Big Horn County Farm Service Agency (FSA) Office is currently evaluating disaster relief programs for individuals and agricultural producers impacted by flooding.
“The FSA County Committee (COC) is aware of the flooding that occurred in the county and varying degrees of damage has resulted,” a statement put out by the FSA read. “The COC is considering making a request for Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) funds if the damages are significant enough to warrant federal aid.”
The FSA asks that if you have flood damage you cannot repair without assistance to please call the Big Horn County FSA office at (307)765-2689 Ext 2, and let them know your need for help as soon as possible.