JACKSON (WNE) — Billowing flurries of snow have kept avalanche technicians on their toes trying to keep people safe from Mother Nature’s winter fury.
Wednesday morning kicked off with a natural avalanche, to the dismay of the Wyoming Department of Transportation.
County avalanche specialists had planned to execute a controlled slide along the Hoback River Canyon on Wednesday morning. But they called it off because, while 6 inches of snow had been predicted over Tuesday night, the canyon saw only 2 inches.
Instead, a natural slide struck at around 8:15 a.m. Wednesday, covering half of the road on a section of Highway 191/189.
WYDOT closed the road at around 9 a.m. to perform snow control work on the slide paths Cow of the Woods and Calf of the Woods. After stimulating more snow to come down and cleaning snow from the road, WYDOT reopened it at around 10:30 a.m.
Inclement weather across the county spurred “no unnecessary travel” advisories on Highway 89, from the southern Grand Teton National Park boundary to Moran Junction, and on Highway 89 from Alpine Junction to Jackson.
The southern entrance of Yellowstone National Park to Grant Village was closed entirely, even to over-snow vehicles, and all roads into Idaho Falls from Teton Valley, Idaho, were closed due to icy roads and visibility issues.
For folks driving out of town for the holidays, Rich Ochs, the county emergency management coordinator, recommends packing a “Wyoming bag” of emergency supplies, including a sleeping bag, warm clothes, food and water, batteries and a shovel.