Evacuation Order Issued For Area Of Jackson Wyoming


By Paul Johnson

UPDATE, 3:50 p.m. – The City of Jackson has issued the following statement…

“At 11:00 A.M. Unified Command met with businesses in the Hillside Complex adjacent to Budge Drive. Business representatives were updated on the history of the event since the weekend and the information that led up to the evacuation order and closure.

The hillside continues to move and measurements are being taken continuously. Emergency officials continue to anticipate alternatives but at this time we are not able to determine if the slide will stop, whether it will continue to slide or whether the hillside will topple over. The duration of the incident is unknown. We anticipate having updated results from the geologists and engineers analysis late this afternoon or evening. This updated information will be taken into consideration as to how to further manage the incident.

Chief Willy Watsabaugh commented, ‘The fact that we have nearly everybody out, allows us focus on preventative measures. Gas and power remain on, we would turn off utilities as a last resort and it would only be done to address life safety issues.’ ‘If it comes to turning off power or services, we would contact you. We have made plans with the utility companies.’ Charter Communications is currently working on an internet outage that is in the slide area. They are working on a short term solution while the situation remains unstable.

Wyoming Highway Department officials identified some pavement deformation approximately 20 feet from the state highway, but still within the highway right of way. Currently there is no visible damage to Highway 89.

A public meeting has been scheduled for 7:00 P.M. tonight at Jackson Elementary School. Emergency response officials will provide a community update on the situation and answer questions from the public.”

Jackson, Wyo. (KIFI-TV) - Unified Incident Command has issued an evacuation order to residents of Jackson Wyoming's Budge Drive at 7:30 P.M. Wednesday evening. This Thursday morning the town along the Idaho Wyoming Border continues to monitor the movements. The evacuation order remains in place.
Based on additional information received from engineers and geologists advising the incident command team, Unified Incident Command has issued an evacuation order for all residents of Budge Drive, the Walgreens apartments, and commercial businesses in the Hillside Complex due to the instability of the hillside in this area and concern for the safety of residents and their ability to leave the area should events escalate. Updated information was received that indicated the hillside has moved at a deeper level underground causing further concern.
Residents began receiving the Evacuation Order at approximately 7:30 P.M. with orders to evacuate by 10:00 P.M. Mountain Standard Time, April 9, 2014, due to imminent public safety concerns. Residents were advised that once they had exited Budge Drive, they would not be allowed back to their residence. Additionally, residents were advised that if they had mobility issues or special needs they could contact TCSO Dispatch at 733-2331 for assistance.
Residents were also advised that the Jackson Teton County Animal Shelter would be open until 10:00 P.M. to accept animals needing boarding during this order.
Evacuees were asked to register at the Red Cross Trailer located in the Powderhorn Parking Lot so that notification could be provided to them once an evacuation order was lifted.
Jackson Police Department and Fire/EMS personnel began going door to door notifying residents of this order at approximately 7:30 P.M.
Rich Ochs, Teton County Emergency Management Coordinator, said, “Public safety is our number one priority and taking this action now instead of waiting is the best approach.”
On April 6, 2014, the hillside movement caused the Town’s pump station at the northwest corner of Budge Drive and West Broadway Avenue to shift, which, in turn, caused a water main break. Town crews repaired water mains and addressed road damage related to the movement on the hillside. Town officials have been working closely with engineers and geologists to provide continuous monitoring of the area affected with numerous data points on the hillside to monitor movement.
The Town of Jackson will continue to work with engineers and geologists with expertise in the area of slope stabilization and will continue to monitor movement through tracking of the datapoints in the area. The Town will continue to consider and evaluate mitigation alternatives and methods to provide long term stabilization of the slope and alternative access.

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