October 13, 2021 |
The snow has ended. Get ready for the wind as the the first winter storm of the season continues to cause travel headaches across southern Wyoming.
The storm started slow Tuesday. By the end of the day, slick roads and treacherous travel conditions kept law enforcement and tow trucks busy responding to multiple crashes. By 3:30 yesterday afternoon, westbound I-80 out of Rawlins was closed because of a crash. By 5:30, the TA parking lot packed full of trucks waiting out the storm. That’s when WYDOT extended the rolling closure to Laramie to ease congestion in Rawlins. With few places to park, trucks were stacking up on-ramps, hoping for an early opening.
That was a bit of the chatter last night on the Carbon County Public Safety dispatch channel. Parking on the interstate is prohibited and delays the opening of roadways.
The eastbound lanes of I-80 closed overnight between Rawlins and Laramie. As of 10:43 a.m. this morning, the interstate corridor is closed in both directions from Rawlins to Cheyenne. US 30/287 Walcott to Rock River is also closed.
Wyoming 487 north of Medicine Bow is open but no unnecessary travel is advised. Conditions are slick with snowfall. US 287/789 north of Rawlins also slick, but open.
The storm is expected to continue today with snow in the mountains, and strong winds at lower elevations.
In an update last night, the National weather Service reported that brief, localized blizzard conditions are possible near Arlington on I-80, as well as on the I-80 summit east of Laramie. Wind gusts in the Arlington area last night were in the 65 to 70 mile per hour range. Wind speeds will be that strong again today. Rawlins can expect 45 mile per hour winds, maybe a little lighter in Saratoga, but not much.
Travel impacts between Rawlins and Laramie are expected to remain treacherous throughout much of the daylight hours today, and then begin to ease by 6 p.m.
Pictured above: I-80 between Rawlins and Laramie remains closed due to winter conditions in both directions as of 8 a.m. Wednesday morning. The estimated opening time is in 7 to 9 hours. Updated at 10:43 a.m.