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Official: Possibly 1 to 2 inches of hillside movement each day

By Luke Jones
Published On: Apr 13 2014 06:42:37 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 14 2014 01:43:32 PM CDT

The threat of a landslide continues to loom five days after residents of Budge Drive in Jackson were asked to evacuate. Luke Jones reports.

JACKSON, Wyo. -

The threat of a landslide continues to loom five days after residents of Budge Drive in Jackson were asked to evacuate.

Charlotte Reynolds, spokeswoman for Teton County, Wyo., told Local News 8 Sunday morning that the hillside that Budge Drive runs up has been moving at a rate of about “an inch or two inches a day, which is relatively slow.”

Jackson may have dodged a bullet when the rain officials were expecting Saturday night never came. Reynolds said significant rainfall could have accelerated movement on the hillside.

Instead, Jackson received a light dusting of snow, which Reynolds acknowledges presents its own challenges.

"It does create a little bit more of a challenging work setting for responders and folks who are up there trying to do the surveys,” said Reynolds.

Reynolds said there are already up to 50 people monitoring this situation, including geologists, engineers and emergency personnel. Sunday morning the state of Wyoming flew in one of its geologists to aid other experts.

"They've been analyzing a number of mitigation options and that effort continues, and they'll hopefully be able to start narrowing down the options that would best address and mitigate this hillside movement,” said Reynolds.

Reynolds did not go into specifics about what those options could include.

Meanwhile, the American Red Cross is focused on helping those who had to leave their homes. Sunday afternoon volunteers were busy setting up a shelter in the exhibit hall at the Teton County Fairgrounds.

"We will be setting up cots. We'll be setting up a registration area,” said Craig Kirkpatrick, director of the Bridger-Teton branch of the American Red Cross.

Red Cross workers say they don't know how many people will show up when the shelter opens Sunday at 6 p.m.

Kirkpatrick said the situation isn't looking as bad for evacuees as it could.

"The homes haven't been destroyed. People have not lost their personal items ... so our need for supplies at this time is pretty low,” said Kirkpatrick.

The Red Cross said its shelter will be open for a maximum of two weeks. At that point, it says it will begin referring any remaining evacuees to other organizations in the area to help find long-term housing.

The Community Resource Center in Jackson said it is currently accepting donations of money and supplies for Budge Drive evacuees. You can find more information on its website, www.crcjh.org.

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