Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

Winter storm leaves icy roads


January 25, 2018

Dawnna Merryfield

Tow trucks assist trucks stuck in the median after sliding off the icy roads on I-80 westbound view.

Snow started falling late Saturday night, and continued off and on Sunday.

According to local weather alerts, temperatures were in the 20's, snow and wind gusts up to 45 mph.

Kimball County Sheriff's Office Kimball County, Nebraska sent out a Winter storm warning Saturday morning at 10:24 a.m. that stated, "Winter Storm Warning 1/20/2018 11:00 p.m. -Sunday, 11:00 p.m. Heavy blowing snow, difficult travel conditions. Accumulations 5-8 inches, isolated areas 10 inches Kimball, Cheyenne County.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Richard Emanuel confirmed snow fall accumulations to be 6 to 8 inches in the eastern Wyoming area. "Cheyenne's amount of snowfall came in at 6.8 inches, while Kimball, Nebraska reported 5.7 inches." He further stated, "Farther east to Sidney, Nebraska the snowfall level came in just shy of 5 inches."

"It was a pretty basic snow storm, not a lot of ice." stated Emanuel.

With the storm came slick road conditions, and there were a number of accidents on the interstates as well as on secondary roads.

Highway 71 in Kimball County had a vehicle accident resulting in two fatalities. Kimball County Sheriff's office confirmed it was due to icy road conditions.

Lieutenant Romig of the Wyoming Highway Patrol stated, "Our troopers were a bit busier that usually, with the storm hitting at the hour it did."

Sgt. Kyle P. McKay, of the Wyoming Highway Patrol confirmed the number of calls and accidents handled from January 20-22. "There were 177 crashes, with 30 of the crashes involving commercial vehicles. 65 of the accidents happened on I-80, 32 on I-25 and 80 happened on primary and secondary roads." he said. "With all the activities, accidents, and such, there were some injuries, however, we did not have any fatalities!" he further stated.

Dawnna Merryfield

The call center for the Wyoming Highway Patrol handled a total of 2576 calls, during winter storm "Jaxon". Of those calls, there were 922 events (accidents, stranded motorists, etc.). These let to the call center making 677 calls out for wreckers, ambulances, and more. "Jaxon" blanketed the whole state of Wyoming, instead a creating a path of white across part of the state.

Due to the high number of calls coming in during the midnight to 6:00 a.m. shift, troopers were called out 19 times during their "on-call" status.

"Our troopers stepped up to the plate, and did their work diligently, and continue to do so to save lives on the highways and interstates of Wyoming." said McKay.


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