WYOMING (RELEASE) - The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) is working to ensure supplies and products that will help with the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation get to their destinations during the upcoming storm.
WYDOT crews are preparing for the spring storm, which is expected to impact the state Wednesday into Friday. The storm is expected to bring anywhere from 5 to 9 inches in the southwest part of the state and 8 to 12 inches in the southeastern, south central and east central parts of the state. Travel impacts will likely occur along interstates 80 and 25.
“We’re always prepared for weather events that occur in Wyoming,” said WYDOT Director K. Luke Reiner. “In the event of a road closure, our maintenance crews and the Wyoming Highway Patrol will work with officials to ensure COVID-19-related supplies get through. We will do everything in our power to ensure these vital supplies get to their communities.”
Health officials or suppliers needing assistance transporting COVID-19-related materials or supplies on a closed road are asked to contact Patrol Dispatch at (307) 777-4321.
During any storm event, WYDOT crews work hard to keep the interstates and roads open. Closures typically occur when conditions like blowing snow cause white-out conditions, making it too hazardous for travelers, or if there is an accident that is blocking the travel lanes.
Maintenance crews are always prepared in the event of weather. In Cheyenne, crews were busy getting deicing materials and equipment ready.
“We’re doing the usual things we do for any weather event,” said Don Bridges, area maintenance supervisor for Cheyenne/Pine Bluffs. “We’re checking all of our equipment and making sure everything is ready to go.”
Crews are looking at all the snowplow truck attachments, such as the cutting edges on the plows, lighting and other parts to make sure they are functioning properly.
“We’re testing our equipment and making any necessary adjustments,” Bridges said.
Crews in the Cheyenne area have been busy for the last few days maintaining the roads due to freezing fog that has impacted southeast Wyoming. The work of those crews and other WYDOT crews will continue as the new storm system moves into the state.
The storm is expected to begin in the western part of Wyoming starting Wednesday with rain and some snow showers, said Mark Heuer, meteorologist for DayWeather in Cheyenne. The storm will then move through the state, changing over to snow on Thursday.
The southwestern part of the state, from Rock Springs to the Utah state line, along Interstate 80 is expected to receive about 5 to 9 inches of snow.
Rawlins to the Nebraska state line along I-80 and Interstate 25 from the Colorado state line to Casper and toward Lusk is expected to get between 8 to 12 inches of snow. In that area of the state, winds could be as strong as 30 to 45 mph with blizzard conditions in some areas.
WYDOT officials advise travelers to check the department’s 511 website at https://wyoroad.info for the latest road and travel information.
Motorists can also download WYDOT’s 511 app to receive the latest road and travel information on their smartphone at https://wyoroad.info/511/WY511Mobile.html. The app provides hands-free, eyes-free information.
Additionally, motorists can apply for the WYDOT Authorized Travel program that allows motorists to drive on sections of closed roads when authorities deem it is safe to do so. For more information on the WAT program, visit https://wat.wyoroad.info/REWAT/wat.