Highway 26 Near Riverton Reopens After Floodwaters Forced Closure
The portion of U.S. Highway 26 west of Riverton which was closed last week due to floodwaters flowing over the roadway has reopened.
Water in the area is still high, flowing right up to the road surface. However, it has receded enough to allow the highway to reopen, according to WYDOT Public Relations Specialist Cody Beers.
Beers said last week that flood waters from the Wind River had risen since the previous weekend. Water nearly started flowing across U.S. 26 on Tuesday night, but receded near the highway Wednesday morning.
Then, Wednesday afternoon, water started flowing across the highway near milepost 104.
The National Weather Service expected flooding to continue through Sunday. Flood warnings are in effect through Wednesday for lower portions of the Little and Big Wind Rivers.
In the Riverton area on Friday, emergency managers made a breach in the Riverton Valley Irrigation District Canal which forced flood waters back into the river. As of about 10:30 a.m. Sunday, that breach was still yielding positive results.
There have been no reports of problems with floodwaters near the canal moving near homes, according to the National Weather Service's Riverton Office.
Releases out of Bull Lake Reservoir continue to decrease, which will help lower river levels from below Diversion Dam to Riverton.
Along the Big Wind River near the Black Bridge and Hidden Valley areas, widespread flooding has been reported downstream of Riverton.
Widespread minor to moderate flooding is still occurring along the Little Wind River from Arapahoe downstream to the confluence with the Big Wind River, according to the latest flood warning.
Cooler afternoon mountain temperatures through Monday will continue to slow the rates of snowmelt runoff, noticeably lowering the levels of creeks and rivers.
However, rainfall is likely over the Little and Big Wind Basins on Monday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon. Even so, snow levels will fall to 8,500 feet by Tuesday morning.
River flows and/or stages are expected to increase Tuesday through Wednesday.