UPDATE: Evacuation Continues in Jackson

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Updated: 4/10 9:11 am

Update: Officials are saying last night’s evacuation of Budge Drive in Jackson went smoothly.

In an email to KPVI News 6, Roxanne Robinson, Incident Command Public Information Officer with the Town of Jackson, says emergency crews contacted over 50 people after going door to door and authorities have setup a Red Cross checkpoint in the Powderhorn Plaza parking lot where evacuees are asked to register.

Robinson says Budge Drive contains 45 homes and the Red Cross is saying seven households have been sent to local hotels.

Jackson Police is saying that there were three homes where residents chose to stay instead of evacuating.

The full news release from the Town of Jackson is below:

Jackson, WY. Unified Incident Command evacuates Budge Drive April 9, 2014.

Evacuation occurred smoothly last night for the Budge Drive area once the alert was upgraded to an evacuation order from an evacuation advisory. Jackson Police Department and Jackson Hole Fire/EMS personnel contacted 57 people when going door to door for the evacuation advisory. A Red Cross checkpoint was set up on the Powderhorn Plaza parking lot across the street from Budge Drive and evacuees were asked to register with Red Cross in order to have a more accurate count of the number of residents and also to obtain contact information once the evacuation order is lifted to be able to return residents to their homes.

The Budge Drive area contains 45 residential units including both single family homes and apartments. Red Cross reported that 7 households were sent to area hotels with the Antler Motel and the Jackson Hole Lodge offering evacuees a first night stay for free. While most residents of the area had friends or family they could stay with, there were a few people that indicated a need for further sheltering after the first night.

Of the residents on the hill, 48 people registered with the Red Cross checkpoint. There were 12 residential units, many apartments, where residents could not be reached either because they were not home or were currently vacant. The Jackson Police Department reported that there were three locations where residents chose to stay in their home rather than evacuating.

Residents needing to gather items from their homes are instructed to check in with emergency personnel in the parking lot in front of Rendezvous River Sports and they will be escorted back to their home for this purpose. Unified command is requesting compliance with this for safety reasons and to maintain an accurate count of people in the affected area.

Incident Commander Cole Nethercott commented, “Time has been on our side allowing us to focus on pre planning. We’ve taken the first step of notification and evacuation. Safety will remain our number one priority.”

As noted previously, the Town of Jackson issued an evacuation order at approximately 7:45 last night in response to a slight buckling of a portion of the roadway as well as additional movement of portions of the hillside.

On Wednesday, the Town of Jackson Building Official, Steve Haines, provided a Declaration of Unsafe Buildings and Notice to Vacate the Premises to Walgreens commercial space. Walgreens is currently in the process of donating all perishable food items to the local food bank and will have their space fully evacuated by 12:00 P.M. today.

Unified command is currently working on a plan to provide additional information to the residents and businesses affected by this incident. Willy Watsabaugh stated, “Timely and accurate information is a paramount objective for those directly affected by this situation.”

The Town of Jackson will continue to work with engineers and geologists with expertise in the area of slope stabilization. Drivers are asked to use caution when traveling in the West Broadway area, watching for emergency responders and heavy equipment working at the scene. The Town will continue to consider and evaluate mitigation alternatives and methods to provide long term stabilization of the slope and possible alternative access.

Previous Story:  An evacuation order has been issued for residents of Budge Drive in Jackson, WY.

The order came at 7:30 PM Wednesday and was based off of additional information received from engineers and geologists.

All residents of Budge Drive, the Walgreens apartments, and commercial businesses in the Hillside Complex  are under the order due to the instability of the hillside.

New information indicates that the hillside has moved at a deeper level underground causing further concern. Resident in the affected area should evacuate by 10:00 Wednesday. Once they have evacuated, they will not be allowed back into the area. Anyone with mobility issues or special needs should contact TCSO Dispatch at 733-2331 for assistance. 

The Jackson Teton County Animal Shelter would be open until 10:00 P.M. to accept animals needing boarding during this order.

Evacuees are 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.

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.”



Original Story: Town Officials in Jackson, Wyoming have issued a voluntary evacuation order because of an unstable hillside.

The hill is on the west side of the downtown area along Broadway. Assistant Town Manager Roxanne Robinson tells KPVI News 6 that they noticed the ground moving last Friday evening. The hillside moved which then moved a pump station. That movement caused a water main to break.

There are some cracks in the hillside and some buckling to a road.

At this point Robinson says the situation there is not really comparable to the recent slide in Washington state. A Walgreen's in the most probable slide zone has voluntarily evacuated and one additional home has as well.

Below is the Evacuation Advisory issued from the town Wednesday.
The Jackson Police Department and Jackson Hole Fire/EMS have jointly issued an EVACUATION ADVISORY to all residents of Budge Drive due to the instability of the hillside in this area. This advisory has been issued in consultation with Emergency Management, Town of Jackson staff, and engineering professionals.

An Evacuation Advisory is a notice to residents that an evacuation may be ordered in the near future. Those with mobility issues and special needs may want to consider evacuating at this time. Residents with special needs requiring assistance evacuating now can call 733-1430.

Residents under an evacuation advisory should have plans in place should they not be able to return to their homes for an extended period of time. Plans should include provisions for pets, prescription medication, and any irreplaceable personal items including photographs, insurance policies, and their 72 hour emergency kits and place them in their vehicles to be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice.

The Jackson Police Department will be going door to door to advise residents of this evacuation advisory. Should this notice be upgraded to an evacuation order, Jackson Police Department personnel will attempt to go door to door in the affected area to advise residents of the evacuation order if possible.


Below is the news release issued Wednesday.

Town of Jackson staff continues to monitor hillside movements in the neighborhood of Budge Drive with increasing concern over slope stability and the potential for release of the hillside immediately above Walgreens and the intersection of Budge Drive and West Broadway.

On Apri
l 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 worked diligently over the past several days to successfully jackhammer through approximately 18 inches of concrete to repair that leak. Since that date Town officials have been working closely with engineers and geologists to provide continuous monitoring of the area affected. The site shows accelerated movement resulting in a higher level of concern for Town officials.

The Town of Jackson is issuing an evacuation advisory for residents of Budge Drive. Public Works crews working on the road will assist with traffic direction during this evacuation advisory should residents choose to leave at this time.

After consultation with the Town and Wyoming Department of Transportation officials, Walgreens officials decided to close the store temporarily and evacuate the premises until further notice. Walgreens has been cooperative throughout this process and the Town will continue to work closely with them.

Additionally, the Town closed the eastern upper parking area for Sidewinders as a precautionary measure. Sidewinders remains open to the public with access from the western entrances to the business.

Town Manager Bob McLaurin acknowledged the closure of Walgreens by Walgreens officials and said, “We believe they are making the right decision at this time and thank them for acting so promptly. Until we have a better handle on stabilizing the slope, this makes the most sense.”

At this time, the areas that might be imminently affected by a release of the hillside include the Walgreens commercial operation, the east end of the parking area at Sidewinders, and the house directly above the intersection of Budge Drive and West Broadway Avenue. The two housing units in question have been evacuated with utilities disconnected by Lower Valley Energy.

The Town of Jackson will continue to work with engineers and geologists with expertise in the area of slope stabilization. The Town will continue to consider and evaluate mitigation alternatives and methods to provide long term stabilization of the slope. Rich Ochs, Teton County Emergency Management Coordinator, has been in contact with State of Wyoming officials to keep them apprised of the situation should the need for additional assistance be necessary.

Inquiries into the matter can be directed to the Town Manager’s office at 733-3932.

CONTACT: Roxanne Robinson
Assistant Town Manager
Town of Jackson
733-3932 extension 1107
rrobinson@ci.jackson.wy.us

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