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Floodwaters recede in Big Horn County

Mar 13, 2014 - The Associated Press

National Guard members placed 70,000 sandbags to protect properties during several days of flooding.

MANDERSON -- Water levels are continuing to recede in Big Horn County on Thursday after immense ice jams on rivers began to release.

No new flooding was reported in Manderson, one of the hardest-hit locations. Wyoming National Guard members and some state inmate crews stacked sandbags along a flood barrier to help prevent any future flooding. The troops were demobilizing on Wednesday.

Sandbags had helped protect the Manderson's school and water treatment plant after the Big Horn and Nowood rivers flooded.

Worland and Greybull also saw big ice buildups and flooding.

Kami Neighbors, public health response coordinator in Big Horn County, said the threat of flooding apparently had passed.

According to preliminary estimates, six homes and two businesses suffered major damage and 14 homes had minor damage in Washakie and Big Horn counties since flooding began last week. No buildings were swept away.

The Wyoming Office of Homeland Security didn't have an immediate breakdown on where the damaged homes and businesses were in those counties.

Homeland Security spokeswoman Kelly Ruiz said National Guard members placed 70,000 sandbags to protect properties from flooding.

According to the Wyoming Department of Corrections, 14 forestry crew inmates from the Wyoming Honor Conservation Camp in Newcastle and about 16 inmate workers from the Wyoming Honor Farm in Riverton were helping with the flood relief effort in the Manderson area.

"The main issue we are dealing with are ice jams, some that are as big as the front of a truck, and some that are more than a mile long, and the water running underneath them," said Brad Boylan, WHCC forestry crew supervisor.

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