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Lovell Chronicle
Lovell , Wyoming
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July 7, 2011     Lovell Chronicle
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July 7, 2011
 

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www.LovellChronicle.com July 7, 2011 I The Lovell Chronicle I 3 Flood damage assessed, roads closed as county deals with high water BY KARLA POMEROY The worst of flooding from rain and runoff is likely behind residents of Big Horn County. Emergency Management Co- ordinator John Hyde provided a report on the flooding around the county at Tuesday's commission meeting. The majority of flood- ing occurred in the Hyattville and Shell areas, with Porcupine Creek the only creek creating problems in the north end. Hyde said a road to the Moss Ranch had been washed out. Flooding in the south is much different, he said. The Medicine Lodge Archaeological Site suffered the worst damage, Hyde said. He said there were two main events or crests in Shell, Medi- cine Lodge and Paintrock creeks that created the flooding. The first occurred on June 24-25 that was preceded by some severe thun- derstorms. He said a bridge was washed out at the Herren place east of Greybull, the road was damaged into the archaeological site and there was flooding in the town of Hyattville. He said two inmate teams -- the Wranglers from Riverton Hon- or Farm and the Smokebusters from the Wyoming Honor Conser- vation Camp and the Wyoming Boot Camp in Newcastle -- as- sisted in flood mitigation efforts, along with the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security and National Guard units. On Wednesday, June 29, the Federal Emergency Management Agency sent a representative to tour the county and assess dam- ages so that the governor can have Wyoming declared a nation- al disaster area to qualify for re- lief. The assessment is only for damages on public lands and pub- lic property. He said the threshold to meet for the state was $1 mil- lion. The county then also needs to meet a threshold of $38,000. Initial assessments on that day had the county with $263,800 in damages and all total for the state at $4.3 million, both above the threshold. Hyde said having the state and county declared di- He said he has no way of know- ing the damage to private resi- dences at this point. Hyde also praised the resi- dents of the communities hardest hit by the flooding, adding that Hyattville and Shell were appre- ciative of the sand and sandbags and residents helped each other out. He said the Wyoming Depart- ment of Transportation provided sand whenever needed, no matter the time of day or night. The Wyo- ming Office of Homeland Security director and deputy director were in constant contact with Hyde or other county officials. Big Horn County Road and Bridge built a dike to put the Greybull River back in its banks so it wouldn't flood a county road or the Michaels property. saster areas means the county can get reimbursed at a level of 75 percent for repairing damages back to the original state. He said there would also be funds available for mitigating cer- tain areas, such as Beaver Creek where it appears the county in- stalled a culvert too small and funds could be used to install a larger culvert. Assessment would have been double or triple had the team come on Thursday, Hyde said, with the creeks cresting again Wednesday night and causing more damage. The road up to the upper por- tion of the Medicine Lodge Ar- chaeological Site was complete- ly washed out, Hyde said. The sandbag dikes put in earlier in the week were completely washed out. He said state teams came to assist with cleanup and there may be a chance the site could still open this summer. The low- er campground is still open to ac- commodate group reservations. Hyde said that there were strong, hot winds that preceded the high runoff on Wednesday night. Fears of another crest over the Fourth of July weekend never materialized. Hyde said it was be- cause there was no other preced- ing event such as thunderstorm or hot wind, but rather just hot tem- peratures. He said Hyattville also flood- ed again with the two-inch square ditch cut through the middle of the highway becoming a six-inch square ditch due to the water. Lane 39 (Douglas Lane) was completely under water, is severe- ly damaged and impassable, Hyde said. The Greybull River also went out of its banks, flooding fields and some homes along Highway 16-20 and on Road 5 south of Burlington. He said the river on Road 5 took off in a new direction, creating a new channel that was headed to a coun- ty road and culvert. The county Road and Bridge Dept. came and constructed a dike to keep the riv- er in its original channel and save the road and culvert. The dike also helped alleviate flooding at Calvin Michaels property. Headgates and some private bridges and roads were also dam- aged including the Kedesh bridge at the Kedesh Ranch near Shell where the National Guard helped fill about 1,500 sandbags. He said the Nowood River flood areas on either side of High- way 20 near Manderson, but for- tunately never did go over the dike in town after the Smokebusters filled about 1,600 sandbags. "That said," Hyde said after describing the damage around the county, "I think it's behind us now." The rivers fed from the res- ervoirs are down, with reservoirs cutting releases to help Big Horn Lake, which was 10 feet shy of the flood stage as of Tuesday. Boysen is five feet below active stage and 12 feet below flood stage. Buffalo Bill is 83 percent full and 13 feet below flood stage. UNWELCOME WELCOME Hyde said there was only one issue that arose. He said when he learned the Smokebusters were coming he tasked Deputy Brant Godfrey for finding them housing and he arranged for them to stay at the fairgrounds. He said a town representative was upset at not being notified about the group and the fact that the group came from the boot camp. "They got an unwelcome wel- come in Basin, but we've tried to put that behind us. Mayor (Amy) Kania was out of town when the incident happened but was able to talk to the team (ofSmokebusters) and resolve a lot of the issues," he said. He said there were allegations that the sheriffs office lied or tried to cover up where the team was from. "That's not true. The failure to notify the town rests on me. The Basin Police Department was no- tiffed." Hyde said if the town officials had a problem they should have contacted the sheriffs office or Hyde and not gone to the Smoke- busters first. "There was no culpability or lying by the sheriffs office," Hyde said. Commissioner Keith Grant said, "These are reputable teams. We've discussed using them for Firewise mitigation." Hyde added that there were no violent or sexual offenders in the group. New Brandin' Iron Restaurant set to open ' ....... IBIFOAVllD' PECK A transition is in the works at Lange's Kitchen in Lovell, and the community will soon have a full-service restaurant that will be open evenings. Partners Craig Trumbull and Bonnie Nation announced their plans for the new Brandin' Iron Restaurant this week, pur- chasing the building at 483 Shoshone Ave. from Sharon Lange in a deal scheduled to close on July 15. "She's been incredible during the tran- sition and to work with," Trumbull said of Lange, "enabling us to keep a lot of the employees and allowing us to meet and talk to them so we're not having to start from square one." Trumbull is a Lovell native, the son of Rollin Trumbull, now of Ralston, and Bev- erly Trumbull, now Beverly McDarment of Lovell. "My family and I moved back here three years ago, and in the process I asked myself, 'Why did we every leave the com- munity?'," Trumbull said. As for Nation, she said she is very happy to be in her newly adopted hometown. "With all of our experience we could have gone somewhere else," Trumbull said, "but we wanted to be here. We didn't want to leave. We wanted to build some- thing. We anticipate hiring nine to 15 new employees." When the Rose Bowl was opened by the Doerr family in 1954, Trumbull said, it was the hub of Lovell. All trav- eling sports teams stopped there, and it was the number one restaurant in Lovell. "It's been that way for more than 50 years and we want to continue that and improve on it," he said. Trumbull has some 30 years of experience in the hospitality busi- ness, owning restau- rants and bars and working in hotels, he said, for companies like Sheraton and Marriott. He said he's worked for compa- nies large and small. "I started at Hansel and Gretel's (in Powell) when I was 14 and worked there through high school," he said, noting that his career has taken him to California, Texas, Louisiana, Arizona and Colorado. He has worked the last two years man- aging the Wyoming High Country resort in the Big Horn Mountains. As for Nation, she's originally from Lander and worked for the State of Wy- oming for 27 years at the Life Resource Center in Lander, then in Rock Springs for five years for a non-profit community setting for people with devel- opmental disabilities. She married John Nation of Lovell nine years ago and' moved to Lovell full-time around six years ago, she said. She continued consult- ing for the Rock Springs center, driv- ing back and forth a lot, then later worked for Trumbull at Wyo- ming High Country, as well as at the Diamond J Bar. Nation may not have a lot of restaurant experience, she said, but she does bring to the new business lots of experience training, managing and supervising em- ployees. "Her experience working with employ- ees is phenomenal from creating training manuals to developing the kind of atti- tudes we want to carry over to our dining rooms," Trumbull said. THE RESTAURANT Trumbull said the Brandin' Iron will slowly ramp up to speed once he and Na- tion assume control on July 15, running regular Lange's Kitchen hours at first and working with the familiar menu, then in a week to twdweeks developing a new menu and, onc nw employees are trained, ex- tending hours to evenings. "It will be a slow process to build up the inventory and train staff," he said. "We're both adamant about training em- ployees so we're ready to serve customers. We're doing it slowly. Customer service is our whole philosophy." The eventual goals is to be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, Trumbull said, but that is subject to change. "We need to figure out what the com- munity wants," he said. "We want to find the best fit for the community in terms of hours, meals, beverages, etc., and let the community create what it needs." Trumbull said he and Nation will do some remodeling and make some chang- es in the building, from bigger restrooms to aesthetic changes, putting money back into the facility and the community. He said the restaurant will maintain sepa- rate smoking and non-smoking rooms. The menu will include steaks and sea- food and the "best burgers around- one- third pound burgers." "We'll do everything we can locally," he said, noting that he and Nation have already been working with Kevin Ben- nett at Red Apple to select the best cuts of meat, adding, "Kevin's been handpicking them for me." He said he sampled products last Thursday at a test kitchen in Billings. SLV'mccnt H00dthca00 BILLINGS, MONTANA WWW.SVH-MT.ORG The BLM's draft Resource Management Plan could jeopardize the future of development by closing public lands to leasing and imposing strict right-of-way regulations that hinder development. Ranchers, those who recreate and others that utilize public lands will be equally affected. Get involved by sending comments to the BLM. Tell them to keep our public lands open. Go to CBNGA.com to comment on the Resource Management Plan! 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