JUST IN: Semi Closes Teton Pass

By on February 21, 2017

(Photo: Dave Sollitt)

JACKSON HOLE, WY – A semi truck lodged on Teton Pass at mile post 10 has closed the highway for the afternoon.

The truck has chains on the tires, “but he’s stuck pretty good,” said Stephanie Harsha, public relations specialist for Wyoming Department of Transportation. “I can’t believe there’s a truck on the pass right now,” she added.

The webcam at the top of the pass still shows about a dozen cars stranded in the parking lot.

The announcement comes just hours after Jackson Hole Mountain Resort closed down for the day due to high avalanche conditions and fierce winds. Only three lifts opened this morning, and the resort announced it would shut down completely at 11:56 a.m.

The valley’s most recent storm has dumped 18 inches of new snow in the last 48 hours, but warm temps and high winds make conditions even more variable. Avalanche danger is currently high at high elevations. A winter storm warning is in effect through 5 a.m. tomorrow.

WYDOT is working hard to clear the truck off the pass. Once that’s done, road crews will “evaluate the road conditions” to determine if it is safe to reopen, but it will remain closed until at least 6 p.m. Harsha said up to 10 more inches of snow is expected today and if the weather keeps up, the pass will remain closed for avalanche control.

“Our goal is to keep it open,” she said, but “the goal right now is to get the trucker off the pass.”

WYDOT reminds commuters that Teton Pass is closed to trailers until April 1. Drivers who fail to heed road closures are subject to multiple citations and a $420 fine. These folks also put themselves and others at risk. Over the past 10 years, Teton Pass has been the site of 17 serious accidents, two of which were fatal.

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