“It provides recognition regarding how everybody has been working together – neighbor helping neighbor.”
Due to the extended nature of Tuesday evening’s power outage and the anticipation of continuing impacts from hazardous weather conditions throughout the weekend, Teton County has declared a state of emergency through Monday, Feb. 13, for Teton Village and neighboring subdivisions and private lands impacted by the power outage.
It is important to note that the declaration does not include the vast majority of Jackson Hole and Teton County, including the Town of Jackson, Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks and all other outlying areas. The declaration area includes electric customers served by the Crystal Springs substation, which includes the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, John Dodge, Shooting Star, Bar B Bar, Ellen Creek, Lake Creek Ranches, Poker Flats and others in the vicinity.
The Teton County Board of County Commissioners passed a temporary declaration on Wednesday evening in an emergency meeting. Per statute they will hold a special public meeting to reconsider and act upon the declaration at 9 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 10. Meeting details, including a link to livestream the meeting over the internet, are available at www.TetonWyo.org.
The declaration is intended to provide a unifying statement recognizing the large-scale and wide-ranging community efforts to address significant winter storm conditions that began on the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 7, including, but not limited to, power outages, anticipated flooding and heavy snowfall, increased risk of avalanche, and ongoing impacts to the transportation.
“This is official recognition by the county commissioners of all the problems our community is dealing with,” said Rich Ochs, Teton County Emergency Management Coordinator. “The declaration allows the commissioners to potentially modify county policies if necessary. It provides recognition regarding how everybody has been working together – neighbor helping neighbor. It could help with insurance claims. And it just gives the responders and utility crews the time and space they need to get this fixed.”
Ochs said the closure of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has been extremely unusual and creates a ripple effect of consequences throughout the community.
Yet Ochs and commissioners also want to stress that despite the state of emergency declaration, the rest of Jackson Hole remains open for business — a theme echoed by the Chamber of Commerce and the Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board.