Flash Floods, Burn Scars And State Highways

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The Wyoming Department of Transportation urges caution to travelers on highways near wildfire burn scars this weekend out of concern for flash flooding and the potential for debris in the roadway.

Heavy rains the night of July 29 caused mud, sand and debris from the Mullen Fire burn scar to fill the storm water ditch in a section of Wyoming Highway 230 near Woods Landing. Debris and mud then overflowed onto the travel lanes, causing the highway to close briefly while WYDOT maintenance crews cleared it with snow plows.

The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Watch that started at 11 a.m. for areas of Albany and Carbon Counties, including the Mullen Fire burn scar, which is under moderate risk of localized flooding. Forecasts call for more rain this weekend as well. Motorists should keep an eye on conditions carefully, especially if traveling or recreating near the Mullen Fire burn scar.

Motorists near Hanna should also use caution, as similar conditions are being reported along the burn scar from the RR316 fire, including portions of Wyoming Highway 72 and U.S. Highway 30/287.

WYDOT maintenance crews will be monitoring both burn scar areas this weekend, with a loader on standby near the Mullen Fire burn scar on WYO 230 to help clear debris if needed.

Please keep these flash flood warnings in mind as you travel this weekend. If flood water has overtaken a road or bridge, don’t try to drive through the water. It only takes 6-12 inches of moving water for most vehicles to start floating.

If you are ever in doubt about driving in a flooded area: turn around, don’t drown.

For road conditions, visit www.wyoroad.info, call 5-1-1 or download the Wyoming 511 app.