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LaBarge mudslide tops off month of rainy weather

Modified: Thursday, Sep 19th, 2013


Vehicles and buildings engulfed in mud and flood water could be seen on U.S. 189 about five miles south of LaBarge on the morning of Friday, Sept. 13. (Photo courtesy of Roxanne Rudy)


Heavy rainfall, flash flooding, and powerful mudslides resulted in considerable property damage and the closing of U.S. Highway 189 between Kemmerer and LaBarge on Thursday night and into Friday morning (Sept. 12-13).

Rain began mid-afternoon on Thursday, Sept. 12, and by early evening, U.S. 189 was inaccessible to the north and the south of LaBarge. By late Thursday night, U.S. 189 was once again opened north of LaBarge, but the cleanup was just beginning.

Approximately five miles south of LaBarge at Names Hill, U.S. 189 remained closed through Friday morning. Some of the more visible and significant property damage is in the Names Hill vicinity, where buildings, houses, yards, and cars were left engulfed by the mudslide.

The flash floods and mudslides in and around Lincoln County are attributed to the abnormally high amount of rainfall the area has seen in recent weeks. In LaBarge, the average annual rainfall is between eight and nine inches; the area saw about half of its typical yearly precipitation just last week.

Crews from the Wyoming Department of Transportation joined forces with county and local workers to clear the roadways, and the effort continued throughout the weekend.

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