Update 6:30 p.m.: We received good news from George Machan, the landslide consultant. Based on a preliminary survey of the site and related data, he estimates the chance of a sudden, catastrophic failure at about 5 percent. Also, the area most at risk may be limited to Walgreens and the east portion of Budge Drive, he said. Wet weather may accelerate movement, he cautioned, and further monitoring is necessary.
Businesses in the Hillside Building will be allowed to reopen, except for Sidewinders. The evacuation order for Budge Drive will remain in effect.
There will be a community meeting at 7 p.m. tonight at Jackson Elementary School gym (next to the rec center) to give an overview of the East Gros Ventre Butte landslide.
George Machan, a landslide expert from Oregon, has been on the butte today and will give an assessment of the geology and slide risks.
The Jackson Town Council also will meet at 5 p.m. at Town Hall, mainly to authorize the emergency command team to expend funds and take appropriate response steps. The meeting should be streamed online.
The ground continues to move on the butte. Power lines were being stretched, and a 2-foot sinkhole opened near the bottom of Budge Drive. Lower Valley Energy was working to release tension on the lines.
There are propane tanks buried beside homes on Budge Drive and gas lines in the vicinity. Also of concern is a town water main fed by a 2-million-gallon storage tank on the butte. Emergency responders are planning for the worst should these utilities be affected.