Governor Mead Signs Disaster Declaration in Response to Wyoming Flooding
Although there has been no single major disaster, damages associated with landslides, saturated agricultural lands, flash flooding in Crook County and the record levels in rivers, creeks and streams across Wyoming have compelled Governor Matt Mead to sign a disaster declaration. Mead says the declaration is necessary for the state to qualify for assistance from the federal government.
Director of the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security Guy Cameron says current estimates total more than $6.8 million in damages and include the cost of preventative efforts. He added that significantly less was spent this year in proactive measures than was spent by the state last year in reactive emergency measures.
Governor Mead signed an Executive Order on May 27 which activated the State Operations Center and enabled the state to mobilize its resources.
Our entire state was proactive in getting out ahead of the flooding. If it wasn't for the tireless work of the Guard, Homeland Security, local officials and volunteers this could have been a disastrous spring. That is not to say we didn't see significant damage in certain places and we are not out of the woods yet.
This Spring Wyoming's snowpack hit record levels. A release from the Governor's Office says the North Platte River reached record flood stage in Saratoga, many rivers, streams and creeks across the state topped their banks and the Department of Transportation reacted to or is monitoring 37 landslides.
The Governor's Office says that Wyoming Office of Homeland Security and Wyoming National Guard forces remain on the watch statewide, including at potential high risk flood sites in Fremont, Big Horn, Albany, Washakie and Carbon Counties.
Weather is always a wildcard. We won't leave until the counties let us know they no longer need our assistance.
On Friday Governor Mead also expressed his appreciation to Wyoming's counties and other local officials for their work in preventing a major, lasting event caused by flooding or landslides. The Governor said local efforts in partnership with the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security, the Wyoming National Guard and the Wyoming Department of Transportation did a lot to protect people and property across the state.