Screenshot of flooding on Poplar Street near Collins Street in Casper on June 8, 2023. (Courtesy Katie VanArsdall)

CASPER, Wyo. — Outdated stormwater infrastructure was overwhelmed today on Collins and Poplar streets, leading to minor flooding that shut down one street and led to restricted travel on another.

That’s according to a Thursday news release from the City of Casper, explaining that the City Council is in the process of finding ways to address the challenge.

The full press release follows:

Today’s heavy rainfall was an important reminder of the importance of our City’s stormwater system, the complex network of 147 miles of pipe, 4,719 catch basins (storm drains), 2,057 maintenance holes, and 305 outfalls. All of this infrastructure works together to carry stormwater runoff (rain and melted snow) into the North Platte River and prevent flooding.

Most of us never think about this vast underground structure since it almost always works. Briefly today, Collins St. was closed after heavy rain overwhelmed the stormwater system in that area, and Poplar street was under restricted travel. These restrictions lasted less than an hour, and roads resumed regular travel after rain slowed and the system was able to catch back up.

Fortunately, today’s flooding incident was minor, but our community is not immune from the possibility of serious flooding. Our stormwater infrastructure is grossly outdated, some of which is more than 100 years old. City Council is currently in the process of finding ways to address this challenge so that our community is prepared for major storms in the future.

While infrastructure must be addressed, citizens can help prevent flooding by keeping gutters and storm drains free from litter and other debris.

For more information on the City’s stormwater system, contact Rachel Bouzis, communications and marketing generalist. City of Casper

Today’s storm also created cold air funnels that the National Weather Service was keeping an eye on. More on that is available here.