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Flat Creek Flooding Through Jackson

December 12, 2013 Jackson Hole, State of Wyoming, Teton County, Town of Jackson No Comments
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The water is rising in Flat Creek again as the bitter cold temperatures have led to what is known as anchor ice forming and blocking the flow of the stream.  Anchor ice is formed when frazil ice forms on the channel bottom during cold periods and the creek flow becomes super cooled.  As that ice rises, so does the water level.  Town Manager Bob McLauren says now the flow of Flat Creek has exceeded its banks and is encroaching on several businesses in South Jackson.  He says the town of Jackson is running thaw wells to pump warmer water into the stream to promote thawing of the ice.  McLauren says while the town has used heavy equipment in the past to break up the ice, it no longer does that since it must be done through a comprehensive effort, where all the property owners agree to participate in the effort.  He explains that if ice is broken promoting flow upstream, it can cause further flooding downstream where a property owner has not agreed to such intervention. The long-term solution, he says is to establish a watershed district to address the problem annually.  Currently, Mike Halpin is heading up the establishment of such a district. In the short term McLauren says, the town and county are offering sandbags and sand for people to protect their property.

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