Wyoming Interstates Open; Thousands of Truckers Get Back To Work

After waiting for 3 1/2 days, truckers finally got the green flag on Wednesday morning as Interstate 80 reopened.

Annaliese Wiederspahn

March 17, 20212 min read

Truckers lined up
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

Gentlemen, start your engines.

It’s a dated reference but the sentiment is clear: it’s time to go.

And go they did. Truckers, that is. They had been lined up near Interstate 80 onramps for more than three days as a historic late-winter blizzard in Wyoming shut down much of Wyoming.

Whether it was a photo taken in Cheyenne, Evanston, or all points in between, hundreds, if not thousands, of truckers were given the green flag — appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day — at 9:30 Wednesday morning and off they went.

Only hours earlier, the same thing happened on I-25 after days of waiting.

Having so many truckers packed in together spooked some Cowboy State Daily readers.

“I’ve been through this scene many times over the years. When the roads first open up, sit back and have another cup of coffee or 2. Let the traffic thin out a little before you hit the road,” said Karla Roich on Cowboy State Daily’s Facebook page.

Two commenters wagered on when a massive accident and subsequent shutdown of I-80 would take place due to so many trucks on the road. (They both lost as I-80 stayed open and no wrecks were reported).

Dennis Arends, a truck driver for 42 years, said these drivers should have planned better.

“Better planning would have prevented most of this,” he said. “There was plenty of warnings. It’s always a gamble to cross I-80 Wyoming during winter months due to closers.”

To be fair, meteorologists don’t always get it right.

Wyoming meteorologist Don Day said he was getting texts on Saturday morning and afternoon questioning whether his forecast of heavy snow was going to happen.

By Sunday morning, everybody knew: Day was 100% right. He nailed it.

When asked if he’s ever wanted to start one of his highly-watched podcasts by saying “I told you so,” he quickly said no — and not necessarily because of humility. More because of Karma.

“The weather gods will kick my ass on the next storm,” Day said.

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Annaliese Wiederspahn

State Political Reporter