- Associated Press - Friday, March 7, 2014

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Gov. Matt Mead called up the Wyoming National Guard on Friday to help combat flooding that forced scores of people to evacuate their homes along the Big Horn River in Washakie County.

Mead said about 20 members of the National Guard would deploy Friday night to help with local flood-control efforts. His office said officials were monitoring the water treatment plant in Worland.

Ice jams just west of Worland backed up the Big Horn River and forced the evacuation of about 80 people, the National Weather Service said Friday. There were no reports of injuries.

Minor flooding also has been reported in western Wyoming, including the Jackson, Afton and Kemmerer areas. Flooding also has occurred along the Niobrara River in the Lusk area of east-central Wyoming.

Worland Police Chief Gabe R. Elliott issued a statement Friday evening saying flooding in residential areas subsided through the day, but some areas remained susceptible to more flooding overnight.

The affected area would remain evacuated, Elliott stated. He urged people to gather their personal belongings before barricades went up Friday evening.

“Our concerns are these areas will once again be subject to flooding as the temperature decreases into the nighttime and early morning hours,” Elliott stated. “These areas will be closely monitored by law enforcement personnel, and all of those specific streets will be barricaded as well.”

Elliott urged people to volunteer to fill sandbags. He said the work was ongoing at the Wyoming Department of Transportation building at 15 Mile Road and West River Road. He said the National Guard would help with that work.

Red Cross officials were working at the Community Complex to coordinate relief efforts for evacuees, Elliott said.

Bob Vines, editor of the Northern Wyoming Daily News in Worland, said the flooding started early Friday morning. The first call to authorities, from a person seeking help evacuating a family, came in before 7 a.m., Vines said.

The water reached a depth of about 2 feet in the affected neighborhood before it started receding, Vines said. He said some houses were flooded, but the water wasn’t moving quickly and said he saw no houses that suffered structural damage.


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