An ounce of prevention ...
June 26, 2019
Chances are, by the time this editorial is being read, Saratoga will be “in the clear” as far as threat of flooding. With the alternating of warm and cool weather, the amount of run-off from the mountains into the North Platte River has been fairly regulated. Despite that there was still some risk of flooding for the area. Over the weekend of June 14, the smokebusters from the Newcastle Honor Conservation Camp came to the Valley and filled over 9,000 sandbags. This, combined with the 2,000 sandbags that were already filled, came to a total of 11,000 sandbags.
The floods of 2010 and 2011 are not that far removed from where we are now and are still ingrained in the memory of the community. Fortunately, we have not seen that same amount of flooding nor have we seen the amount of flooding experienced by other towns in Wyoming or surrounding states. With a possible peak of nine feet, which is low-stage flooding, some may believe that John Zeiger, in his capacity as mayor and as Carbon County Emergency Coordinator (CCEC), overreacted.
The Saratoga Sun does not.
It was during Zeiger’s initial terms as mayor that the Valley experienced intense flooding and, as has become apparent, he learned from those incidents. During conversation with him following the weekend visit from the smokebusters, it was made clear that his decision to sign a declaration as mayor was not one made in haste. After receiving a call from the Wyoming Department of Homeland Security in the middle of the night with concerns about flooding, the decision was an obvious one.
When the Sun sat in on a Monday morning phone call between Zeiger and multiple agencies, it became obvious that any decision made in reaction to potential flooding was not one made by him alone. On the contrary, it was made in coordination with county and state agencies that were just as concerned about the state of the North Platte River in Saratoga as he was.
The Sun would like to commend Zeiger for his work as CCEC and his reaction to potential flooding in Saratoga. In serving dual roles, mayor and emergency coordinator, he is tasked with the safety of his constituents and the county as a whole. This is not an easy job, as the amount of hours worked and the decisions made can take a toll.
We would ask that, should you encounter him at some point in your day, you also commend him for his reaction in regards to the safety of Saratoga and its residents.
The Saratoga Sun regards any action taken in preventing a problem a good thing. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.