Town officials downgrade some closures, identify high risk area

By on April 14, 2014
Jackson residents attend at press conference regarding the Budge Drive evacuations on Monday

Jackson residents attend at press conference regarding the Budge Drive evacuations on Monday

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – At a press conference today, incident leaders Lt. Cole Nethercott and fire chief Willy Watzabaugh explained the deepening crisis on Budge Drive by ordering a hard closure of a limited section at 7 p.m. tonight.

By identifying the high risk area, they have also downgraded most of the western portion of the previously evacuated area to “advisory.” The high risk area that will be under “hard closure” includes 1023 Budge Drive, 1030 Budge Drive, 1040 Budge Drive, 1045 Budge Drive, Hillside Complex residences, Walgreens employee housing, Walgreens store, Sidewinders, Ignite and the Wine Shoppe & Spirits. The Town of Jackson will begin emergency stabilization construction as soon as possible.

“There will be no public traffic or occupation in this area as of 7 p.m. tonight, just operations personnel,” said Watsabaugh.  The hillside is sliding about an inch per day in the affected high risk area according to officials.

Nethercott and Watsabaugh took questions from anxious residents.

“… I guess what I need to know if should we look for another place to live or not?” asked an occupant of the Walgreens employee housing units.

“I think it would be fair to say it could take several weeks to resolve.” said Lt. Nethercott.

Representatives of local social service groups offered help to anyone affected by the closures. Chuck Fidroeff, director of the Good Samaritan Mission, said there were beds for both men and women available. People could also come for a meal. He asked that people needing services to call 24 hours in advance.

Smokey Rhea from the Community Resource Center said that though they don’t have housing available directly, the CRC can assist in many other ways. “There will be people impacted by this for a long time.” she said.

The Good Samaritan Mission is located at 285 W Pearl Ave or call (307) 733-3165. You can contact the CRC at (307) 739-4500.

The Red Cross shelter is open at the Teton County Fair Exhibit Hall and Wyoming Workforce Services can be accessed at the Teton County Library.

Mayor Mark Barron ended the meeting by assuring residents that the Town of Jackson is doing everything it its power to assist and mitigate the problem.

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