An unusually wet spring, combined with an unusually large amount of snowmelt in the Wind River Mountains, has produced flood conditions in and around my hometown of Lander, Wyoming:

In the largest state activation of the Wyoming National Guard in more than 10 years, more than 200 soldiers and airmen are working around the clock to protect residents and their property against floods in Fremont County.

City Park, the spectacular local park just up the street from our house that serves as the location for all my son’s Little League games, has become an impromptu riverbed for the Popo Agie River. My daily walk into the office of which I am unjustifiably proud now involves 45-50 feet of wading — a reminder that my boots could do with another coat of waterproofing. The city’s siren has been sounding with regularity since last Friday, summoning volunteers to the city’s airfield to fill and distribute the sandbags that make up the city’s first (and nearly exclusive) line of defense.

As one might expect from a small city manned by a volunteer fire deparment, information about the flood is both hard to come by and more than a little garbled when it does trickle down to area residents. Or at least that was true before I discovered the Fremont County Flood 2010 page on Facebook:

This is the official facebook page of the Fremont County Flood 2010 Incident Command. Updated information regarding efforts to stem the rising waters in rivers across the county can be found here.

Finally, a Facebook use I can support!

(Please keep the local residents in your prayers. The danger in Lander appears to be localized to a few riverside homes, but sections of the local towns of Hudson and Ethete are being pounded. And forecasts suggest that there may well be more water on the horizon.)

By

Joseph Susanka has been doing development work for institutions of Catholic higher education since his graduation from Thomas Aquinas College in 1999. Currently residing in Lander, Wyoming -- "where Stetsons meet Birkenstocks" -- he is a columnist for Crisis Magazine and the Patheos Catholic portal.

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