By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
Most of Wyoming found itself cut off from the rest of the world Sunday as a strong storm meteorologists had predicted for days reached the state, closing highways and shutting off power to some areas.
Much of the state was under a blizzard warning Sunday as the storm dropped more than 37 inches of snow on some areas by Sunday morning.
Brisk winds gusting to 40 mph in Cheyenne and 19 mph in Casper mixed with the snow to reduce visibility to near zero across much of the southeastern half of the state and shut down travel from Rock Springs along Interstate 80 to Cheyenne and from Cheyenne north on Interstate 25 to Buffalo.
A number of state highways running north from the Colorado border to Newcastle and west from Nebraska to Lander were also closed.
Power outages were reported across the state. Rocky Mountain Power reported that more than 1,100 people were without power near Casper, Black Hills Power in Cheyenne reported an outage affecting almost 1,700 and High West Energy said almost 1,000 of its customers in eastern Laramie County lost power.
The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for much of the state, from Cheyenne west to Rawlins and north to Douglas, in the face of the storm expected to continue bringing snow and high winds to the state’s southeastern corner through Monday morning.
Residents were urged to stay off of the highways due to winter conditions, with the Cheyenne Police Department going so far as to issue a “shelter in place” advisory.
Snow accumulations ranged from 10 inches in Casper and 20 inches in Cheyenne to 27 inches in the Laramie foothills and 37 inches on Casper Mountain.