June 5, 2017
Denise Germann, 307 739 3393
Grand Teton National Park staff have spent the past few months preparing for potential high water impacts and are currently monitoring park waters for potential flooding threats.
The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for the Snake River and its main tributaries through late Tuesday night, identifying a potential for flooding based on current weather forecasts. Park employees are closely monitoring weather forecasts and park locations along the Snake River at Moose, and the Buffalo Fork and Pacific Creek Rivers near Moran, as well as other locations throughout the park.
“We are preparing for potential flooding on the wild and scenic Snake River,” said Grand Teton National Park Superintendent David Vela. He added, “We’re working collaboratively with the Bureau of Reclamation and Teton County Office of Emergency Services to ensure the visiting public and all interested stakeholders are informed of any high water development.”
Park visitors and recreationalists are highly encouraged to use caution around rivers and creeks at this time. Minor flooding is anticipated along the edges of rivers and creeks, and water crossings may be dangerous. Stream crossings are most dangerous in the late afternoon and early evening when mountain streams run the highest.
Please pay extra care when recreating on the Snake River. The high water means swifter and stronger currents, as well as rapidly changing conditions. Only those with experience piloting watercraft on dynamic braided rivers should attempt to float the Snake River at this time.
An area of the Gros Ventre/Kelly Road is being impacted by erosion along the Gros Ventre River. The area is located approximately two miles east of the intersection with US Highway 26/89/191. The area is marked with safety cones to indicate no stopping or parking. Park employees are monitoring the road, and a road closure may be implemented if conditions worsen.
Park staff removed large woody debris from culverts at Ditch Creek and Buffalo Fork River, and closed a section of the Pilgrim Creek Road due to water on the road. Six sites at the Gros Ventre Campground have been temporarily closed due to water. Vela said, “We will continue to monitor impacts throughout the park and take action as appropriate. Visitor and employee safety is our priority.”
As temperatures rise, the significant snowpack which remains at higher elevations is beginning to melt more rapidly, causing the Snake River and its tributaries to rise. In preparation, the park assembled an incident management team, developed a high water response plan, and ensured all flood control infrastructure is staged and ready. Please visit the park website for updated information.