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Snowstorm cost Casper $500K

CASPER (WNE) — The historic March snowstorm that dropped two feet of snow on Casper cost the city more than half a million dollars — more than half of what it typically spends in a year on snow removal, according to a city announcement Friday.

The storm, which began the weekend of March 13, cost Casper $509,238 to remove the snow.

The city traditionally spends $950,000 per year on snow removal.

The blizzard was the third-largest in the city’s history, dropping 26.3 inches of snow over two days — more than double what had been forecast. The heavy snow and wind resulted in a cascade of highway, business and school closures and closures of every highway in and out of the city.

The city will seek reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for that cost, much of which came from leasing equipment and hiring contractors to help clear roads.

The city plows its main streets and collector streets, as well as residential streets when they are considered impassible. Due to the size of the blizzard, however, the city contacted every heavy equipment contractor in the Casper area to see if they could help clear snow, according to a news release. Six contractors were ultimately hired to plow residential streets. Even then, some side streets and residential areas remained nearly impassible for days.

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon’s request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration makes Natrona County, as well as its cities and towns, eligible for possible FEMA reimbursement.

Southeastern Wyoming was also hit by more than two feet in places, with 25.8 inches dropping in Cheyenne, setting a two-day record for the capital city.