A neighborhood in Jackson was evacuated Wednesday night because of movement in a nearby hillside. Assistant Town Manager Roxanne Robinson says concerns began on Sunday.
“What came to our attention was when the hillside moved it cause our pump station to move which, in turn, caused one of the water mains to break,” reports Robinson. “We’ve also noticed that there are some cracks in the hillside and we do have a section of the roadway that has started to buckle.”
Local geologists and engineers have data points on the East Gros Ventre Butte to monitor movement. The evacuation order was issued at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday after updated information showed the hillside had moved at a deeper lever than originally thought.
All residents of Budge Drive, the Walgreens apartments, and commercial businesses in the Hillside Complex were ordered out of the area by 10 p.m. The Walgreens had evacuated and shut off utilities earlier in the day.
“Time has been on our side allowing us to focus on pre-planning,” Incident Commander Cole Nethercott commented in a release. ”We’ve taken the first step of notification and evacuation. Safety will remain our number one priority.”
The Red Cross has a checkpoint for the residents to register at so authorities could keep an accurate count and collect contact information.
Town officials are continuing work with geologists and engineers to monitor the hillside and consider ways to stabilize the slope.