4/10/2014 7:50:51 PM
Jackson, WY. Jackson Town Council declares state of emergency and adopts disaster declaration, and delegates authority to incident command due to the Budge Drive landslide situation.
At the Town Council meeting at 5:00 P.M. today, the Jackson Town Council adopted a resolution declaring an emergency and delegation of authority authorizing expenditures up to $50,000. Additionally, the Town Council adopted a disaster declaration.
Town Manager Bob McLaurin commented, “This declaration and resolution is a crucial step in correctly responding to this situation and obtaining assistance when needed.”
During a briefing in the afternoon and at the Council meeting by geologist George Machan of Landslide Technologies out of Portland Oregon, there were three areas discussed including high risk areas, medium risk areas, and lower risk areas within the Budge Drive neighborhood. The high risk area appears to be a V shape that is bordered on the east by the east wall of the Walgreens commercial facility, bordered on the north by the house directly north of the intersection of Budge Drive and West Broadway, and bordered on the west by the Sidewinders restaurant facility and includes the parking areas associated with the Sidewinders facility. Areas of medium risk include the Sidewinders Restaurant on the west, but do not include the Walgreens employee housing facility on the east. Areas outside of this medium risk area are low risk, but not without risk. The high risk area is where there are visible cracks in the earth as well as in retaining walls and the roadway and driveways.
Mr. Machan’s early projections were noted, “It appears that the slide surface is 5-10 feet below the parking lot and it appears to be a flat surface back into the hillside. This is a very complicated area from a geology standpoint with marginal stability, infill, and hillside development.” It was noted at the meeting that the flat surface appears to be a clay surface. Mr. Machan indicated that additional drill holes were needed that extended approximately 100 feet deep in multiple locations within each area in order to adequately assess the situation. Mr. Machan indicated he would need to go over a fair amount of data tomorrow to provide any further information.
Rich Ochs, Emergency Management Coordinator stated, “Delegating authority is standard within the Federal Emergency Management Administration.”
Town Manager Bob McLaurin thanked the support the community had received from the State of Wyoming. He added, “Most of our expenses up to this point have included overtime for staff but longer term would include other expenses such as drilling holes, survey needs, and the potential creation of an alternative access road.”
Inclinometers behind Walgreens have shown a tilt towards the highway at the bottom and back towards the hillside at the top. Mr. Machan also discussed the fact that actions have been taken over the years that may have contributed to the movement of the hillside and additional actions could be taken in the future to mitigate current and future movement. Incident Commanders continue to consult with Town of Jackson officials to evaluate different methods of mitigation. Town of Jackson officials continue to consult with outside experts and organizations to evaluate alternative access routes to Budge Drive.
The Council’s resolution and disaster declaration are available on the Town’s website located at www.townofjackson.com.
A public meeting has been scheduled for 7:00 P.M. tonight at Jackson Elementary School. Emergency response officials as well as George Machan, geologist, and Guy Cameron, Director of Wyoming Homeland Security will be in attendance. The purpose of this meeting will be to provide a community update on the situation and answer questions from the public.