WHEATLAND –The snow storm that began last week just didn’t know when to stop. The weather lifted enough for families to travel to Thanksgiving destinations, but getting back home was a challenge.
After getting through the first wave on Tuesday that cancelled school for the day, another blizzard rocked the area Friday through Sunday with blowing snow, ice and high winds. The winds drifted the roads shut and ice made driving treacherous. Vehicle accidents were prevalent across the state. At one point on Friday, over 300 miles of Interstate 25 were closed for multiple hours.
The Town urged people to stay home as the road crews were struggling to keep emergency service areas clean while helping motorists stuck in the snow. Several vehicles were just left where they were stuck to be collected a few days later. Some are still there.
Early Monday morning, Interstate 25 was still closed in both directions. The WYDOT website said it might be noon before the road opened, but then opened around 8:30 a.m. The road may look clear, but the Highway Patrol stays in contact with the local hotels, and if a town’s hotels are filled up, they will extend the closure farther down the line so travelers can stop where there are rooms available instead of being stuck in their car - especially at night. For up-to-date road closures and advisories go to www.wyoroad.info/highway/conditions/RoadClosures.html or call 1-888-WYO-ROAD.
The ice caused problems for power lines, knocking out power to several households.The Wheatland REA had outages all over the county and linemen were out on Saturday evening working hard in the blowing snow to get the power back on.
As far as all the Christmas activities that were planned for last Saturday, they were all postponed until this Saturday, Dec. 7. Parade of Lights is at 6:30 p.m. and afterwards, Santa will be at Bank of the West to listen to gift requests from the kids. Many merchants have extended their specials for those unable to do their holiday shopping last week.