You may have heard parts of Wyoming are experiencing flooding due to river ice breaking up. Some great aerial photos of the Worland flooding can be found at Yule Photography under Brandon’s freelance photos.
It’s possible to plan for high flow flooding, but ice jams are pretty unpredictable. However, sharp bends in the river, bridges, and islands are always suspect places. This year, when weeks of near zero temps gave way to multiple days in the forties, the river ice broke up and lodged at a highway bridge directly upstream from a large island. The aerial photos give you idea of the size of the jam, but not the size of the ice chunks. Some of those chunks are thirty plus inches thick and patio size across. The ability of those slabs to grind up soil, foundations, and pavement shouldn’t be underestimated.
Worland community support to flood victims has been amazing. Over 500 volunteers spent the weekend filling sand bags, and the Red Cross center to house those evacuated from their homes is almost empty because most flood victims found refuge with friends, family, or at the local hotel which provided rooms for free.
While nature can be devastating, this morning’s thick fog enshrouded the town of Worland and created a frost painted reminder of nature’s beauty.