20190313-news-airport snow plow jb-03

Jesse Painter, with airport operations, exits a snow plow used for the runways at the Cheyenne Regional Airport on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in Cheyenne. According to the National Weather Service, a blizzard warning is in effect today. Jacob Byk/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CHEYENNE – Local schools, businesses and government facilities are closed for a significant winter storm.

On Tuesday, the National Weather Service issued blizzard and winter storm warnings for southeast Wyoming expected to hit Wednesday. Laramie County residents saw more than a foot of snow accumulating through Thursday morning with wind speeds exceeding 50 miles per hour.

Meteorologists say the storm could be the most significant in areal coverage since 1979 if Wyoming, northern Colorado and western Nebraska are hit as expected.

Wyoming Tribune Eagle staff will update with new closures and storm-related news today.

Snowfall

9:21 a.m. – As of 6 a.m. Thursday, the National Weather Service measured 14.6 inches of snow in Cheyenne.  

12:41 p.m. – As of noon Wednesday, the National Weather Service measured roughly 3.5 inches of snowfall, with snowdrifts between 1 and 2 feet high. 

NWS meteorologist Andrew Lyons said everything was proceeding as predicted. 

"We are pretty much in a full fledged blizzard," he said, adding that inclement conditions would likely hold for another 24 to 36 hours. 

Travel

2:14 p.m. – I-25 between Cheyenne and the Colorado border has been opened in both directions. 

9:21 a.m. – CPD reaffirmed that drivers CPD needs to respond to for incidents related to the weather could risk a ticket again Thursday. The idea, spokesperson Malatesta said, is to deter people from being on the roads at all. 

Many portions of the state's highways are still closed, including all routes out of Cheyenne. That included I-80 and I-25. No word yet on when those roads will reopen. 

12:41 p.m. – The Cheyenne Police Department issued a statement this afternoon warning drivers to stay off the roads. In an email, CPD spokesman Kevin Malatesta said most roads are currently impassable, and the department has already responded to a number of accidents. He warned that motorists who decide to drive despite CPD's warnings may be ticketed. 

"This blizzard poses a real threat to those who choose to drive. If officers respond to motorists who have ignored these warnings they may issue careless driving citations..." Malatesta wrote. 

11: 33 a.m. – I-80 between Cheyenne and the Nebraska state line has been closed in both directions, and the road is expected to be closed overnight. It is unknown when the road will reopen. 

10:15 a.m. – I-25 has been closed in both directions between the Colorado state line and Cheyenne. WYDOT expects the road to be closed overnight and has not provided an estimate for when the road will reopen. 

10 a.m. – I-80 between Cheyenne and Laramie has been closed by WYDOT, and is expected to remain closed overnight. The department has not provided an estimate for when the road will reopen. 

9:40 a.m. – The Wyoming Department of Transportation has issued warnings for US85 between Cheyenne and Torrington and I25 between the Colorado state line and Cheyenne. Drivers are advised against any unnecessary travel, and should expect poor visibility and black ice on those roads. 

WYDOT is shifting resources from parts of the state to prepare for significant snowfall along the I-80 and I-25 corridors.

As of Wednesday morning, Wyoming Department of Transportation had Interstate 80 between Rawlins and Cheyenne to all traffic due to the ongoing winter storm affecting Wyoming and Colorado.

WYDOT said this is expected to be a prolonged closure that will last overnight Wednesday into Thursday.

Closures

9:21 a.m. – For the second day, both Laramie County and the City of Cheyenne offices are closed due to the storm. Both county school districts are closed, as is LCCC and UW. 

1:07 p.m. – As of 1 p.m., the University of Wyoming has cancelled all classes and labs for the remainder of the day. The Early Childhood Education Center will close at 2 p.m. to allow families to pick up their children.

The Wyoming Union, Half Acre Recreation and Wellness Center, and Coe Library will remain open until 5 p.m. All activities after 5 p.m. have been cancelled. 

12:01 p.m. – As of 11:50 a.m. every clinic in the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center except the Wyoming Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Physical Therapy has been closed due to the weather. The orthopedic clinic will close today at 2 p.m.

11:39 a.m. – The Cheyenne Veteran Affairs Health Care System, including the Cheyenne VA Medical Center are closed through at least noon, March 14, due to the winter storm. 

10:13 a.m. – Gov. Mark Gordon announced the Wyoming State Government office in Cheyenne will be closed for the day, as well as other offices across the Southern and Eastern parts of the state. 

10:06 a.m. – The AARP Cheyenne Community Group's March 13 meeting has been rescheduled for March 20, 1 p.m., and the AARP Driver Safety class scheduled for March 14 and 15 has been cancelled due to weather.  

9:47 a.m. – The Cheyenne Regional Medical Center has closed a number of offices:

Consultants in Surgery - 307-632-1114

CRMG Neurosurgery and Spine Associates - 307-996-4775

CRMG Plastic, Reconstructive and Hand Surgery - 307-638-8987

Ear, Nose and Throat - 307-632-5589

Medical Specialty Clinic - 307-638-7757

CRMG Endocrinology and Diabetes Education - 307-996-1560

Cheyenne Children’s Clinic, both locations - 307-635-7961

Family First - 307-778-3675

Cheyenne Family Medicine - 307-778-2577

Wyoming PACE, The facility is closed, but staff will be providing home visits as needed - 307-773-8112

The blizzard warning prompted the Cheyenne Regional Airport to shut down and cancel all flights for Wednesday.

Officials with both Laramie County school districts announced a district-wide closures Tuesday afternoon; bus routes will not run, and all school activities are canceled. Laramie County Community College is closed as well.

All non-emergency government offices are closed in the city and Laramie County, too. This includes the Board of Public Utilities services, but anyone with water or sewer problems should call 307-637-6471.

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

A host of other local businesses, including the Laramie County Library, have closed, and residents are encouraged to call before making plans.

The Cheyenne Veteran Affairs Health Care System, to include the Cheyenne VA Medical Center; clinics in Ft. Collins, Loveland and Sterling, Colo.; Rawlins, Laramie, Wheatland and Torrington, Wyo.; and Sidney, Nebr., are closed through at least noon, March 14, due to the winter storm Ulmer. 

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