Cheyenne  airport,  schools  close  for  winter  storm  as  others  brace  for  effect –  Wyoming  Tribune

Cheyenne airport, schools close for winter storm as others brace for effect – Wyoming Tribune

By Anne Rowe for DPS board, March 30, 2019

CHEYENNE – The Cheyenne Regional Airport, along with both Laramie County school districts and the city, is closed today for what might be the region’s biggest winter season storm in years.

Daily flights between Dallas/Fort Worth Global Airport and Cheyenne are canceled, and airport personnel suggest customers contact American Airlines as soon as possible to reschedule flights or request a refund.

The National Weather Condition Service has issued blizzard and winter season storm cautions for southeast Wyoming expected to hit at 6 a.m. today. Laramie County locals can expect to see more than a foot of snow collecting through Thursday early morning with wind speeds exceeding 50 miles per hour.

“The National Weather Service suggests the storm might have more of an effect than initially thought,” airport director Tim Barth stated. “We’ll assess Thursday’s flights depending on what the storm is doing. It doesn’t appearance like Denver is going to be a feasible alternative, either.”

Officials with both Laramie County school districts announced today’s district-wide closures Tuesday afternoon; bus paths will not run, and all school activities are canceled. Laramie County Neighborhood College is closed as well.

“Although this does not follow normal closure procedures, district officials made the decision early due to prepared for storm effects,” said Mary Quast, LCSD1’s neighborhood relations director. “Our main issue is the security of our trainees, moms and dads and personnel. Any extra closure or hold-up details will be interacted previous to 6 a.m. Thursday.”

All non-emergency government workplaces are closed in the city and Laramie County, too. This consists of the Board of Public Energies services, however anybody with water or drain problems must call 307-637-6471.

Public transit will not be readily available, and frequently scheduled trash pick-up will be rescheduled.

A host of other local services, consisting of the Laramie County Library, have closed, and residents are encouraged to call prior to making strategies.

Meteorologists say the storm could be the most considerable in areal protection since 1979 if Wyoming, northern Colorado and western Nebraska are hit as anticipated.

“Cheyenne correct hasn’t seen something like this since 2016,” NWS meteorologist Jeff Garmon stated. “From a historic point of view, though, the last time we saw a storm this large affecting so much of the Front Range was Thanksgiving of 1979.”

He stated motorists must avoid travel, if possible.

“It’s going to result in significant wandering snow and make it tough for the roadways to remain cleared through the occasion,” he stated.

Barth said he’s just experienced one other weather-related airport closure throughout his five years in Cheyenne.

“Knowing what’s coming, we are preparing in advance,” he stated. “Even the big commercial passenger aircrafts are not created for those strong winds on landing or takeoff. We’re likewise expecting snow to collect at 2 inches an hour. We don’t have snow devices that can keep up with that. With the sleet and freezing rain starting tonight, it’ll turn the runway into a hockey rink.”

The Wyoming Department of Transport is moving resources from parts of the state to prepare for significant snowfall along the I-80 and I-25 corridors.

Forecasters call for 12 -18 inches of snow along I-80 from Walcott Junction to the Nebraska state line and 12 -18 inches along I-25 from Casper to Cheyenne.

Five rotary rakes – utilized to clear big drifts – are staged along I-80 from Cheyenne to Rawlins.

“Drivers ought to strategy now for the storm, as travel will most likely be tough or impossible if present predictions hold real,” WYDOT officials stated in a news release.

The Red Cross of Wyoming used some ideas to stay safe throughout the storm, consisting of reducing travel, taking family pets inside, buying at least three days worth of food, water and medical products in advance and keeping battery ran flashlights, phone charges and radios on hand.

If you need to travel, winterize your car and keep the gas tank full.

“Plan ahead and stay inside when possible,” Garmon said.