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Avalanche on south 89 closes road, jams traffic

By
Via the Wyoming News Exchange

JACKSON (WNE) — Traffic was snarled for a few hours Thursday afternoon when an avalanche came down 2 miles south of High School Road on South Highway 89.
 
That area hasn’t experienced a roadway-obstructing slide in over 50 years.
 
The slide just past milepost 151 blocked four out of five lanes of travel at 1:05 p.m.
 
Avalanche Technician Don Lawless of the Wyoming Department of Transportation said the snow that buried the road was about 10 feet deep and 70-80 feet wide. 
 
A loader started moving snow at 1:45 p.m., according to Lawless, and at 3:07 p.m. all lanes were reported open. 
 
John Faicco, a detective sergeant and spokesperson for the Teton County Sheriff’s Office, said no one was injured. No vehicles were trapped or damaged.
Neither agency knew what caused the snow to slide.
 
Stephanie Harsha, public relations specialist for the Wyoming Department of Transportation, said that the last recorded avalanche on that stretch of road was over 50 years ago.
 
“It’s unusual for that particular spot to slide and even more unusual that it was a huge slide,” said Harsha. 
 
This story was published on March 3, 2023.

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