Rising flood water flowing across U.S. 26 about 30 miles west of Riverton has forced Wyoming Department of Transportation personnel to close the highway until water recedes.

WYDOT personnel are stationed at the road-closed gates on each end of the closure, and they are available to assist drivers with information regarding detours. The road-closed gates will be manned throughout the night Wednesday, and as long as water continues to flow across U.S. 26.

A signed traffic detour for west-bound traffic is open at U.S. 26's junction with Wyoming 132, about 20 miles west of Riverton. A signed traffic detour is open for east-bound traffic at Diversion Dam junction (U.S. 26 and U.S. 287), about 35 miles west of Riverton.

West-bound drivers on U.S. 26 leaving Riverton are being asked to drive south to Wyoming 132's intersection with U.S. 287, then north through Fort Washakie to the Diversion Dam junction (U.S. 26 and U.S. 287), where drivers can then resume their west-bound trip toward Dubois, Yellowstone National Park and Jackson.

East-bound drivers on U.S. 287 leaving Dubois are being asked to turn south on U.S. 287 toward Lander at the Diversion Dam Junction, and then to turn north on Wyoming 132 and drive to U.S. 26 near Kinnear, where drivers can then resume their east-bound trip toward Riverton and Casper.

"We were the last drivers through the water on U.S. 26 this afternoon," according to WYDOT District Engineer Pete Hallsten of Basin. "The water flowing across the highway had risen to about a foot deep, and our vehicle wanted to float. That's when the decision was made to close the roadway until water recedes and the highway is safe for vehicles to pass through."

Flood waters from the Wind River have been rising since last weekend, and water nearly started flowing across U.S. 26 last night. Early this morning, water receded near U.S. 26, but this afternoon rising water began flowing across the highway at about milepost 104, 30 miles west of Riverton.

"We appreciate everyone's patience," Hallsten said.

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