Clark, Wyoming Records Hurricane Category 3 Gust of 118mph; Roads Closed Again

Large portions of Wyoming's interstates and roads were closed on Saturday and Sunday as high winds and snow battered many areas of the state.

Jimmy Orr

December 12, 20213 min read

Interstate 80 12 12 21
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

It was a bit blustery in Wyoming on Saturday and Sunday, but unless you were in Clark in northern Park County, anything you experienced pales in comparison.

The community some 30 miles north of Cody got blasted by a Hurricane Category 3 gust with winds hitting 118 mph.

Everywhere was relatively calm, by comparison.

Casper did record a gust of 76 mph which makes it only a Category 1 hurricane (and barely at that).

Regardless, winds were whipping all over the Cowboy State  on Saturday on Sunday with many other communities recording gusts of over 60 and 70 mph.

As a result, large sections of both Interstates 80 and 25  were closed.

Outside of Evanston, Wyoming semi-trucks were backed up for miles on Sunday morning waiting for the interstate to re-open.

While it looked cold, frozen, and closed on Interstate 80 in far western Wyoming, it looked quite different 400 miles east near the Wyoming-Nebraska border.

There it was brown and wide-open. The only thing similar in both locations was the seemingly ever-present wind which is a constant companion in Wyoming’s winter months.

As usual the areas near Arlington and Cooper Cove on Interstate 80 between Laramie and Rawlins were not conducive to travel.

Photos from the webcams on Sunday morning in those locations showed long lines of trucks playing the same waiting game.

The Facebook page “Wyoming Road and Weather Conditions Reports Updates” was active on Sunday morning with motorists exchanging information about the road conditions in their areas and advising others on strategies to take.

One commenter said stay put if you can.

“Today will be a mess because of the unleashing of everyone who’s been stuck. If you have the means and ability, wait an additional day and stay out of the mass rush,” Clint Christensen said.

Others were trying to help those who were less fortunate. One couple lost their dog after they were involved in an accident.

“Anyone who maybe traveling I80 please keep your eyes open,” Teresa Leroux said. “This is Yogi. He and his owners were in a roll-over on Thursday near Rawlins at mile marker 209. 

“He is still missing and we are praying for the best and hoping someone may see him. If you do please contact me. He maybe wearing a pink coat,” she said.

For the latest road and travel information, visit the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s webpage or download WYDOT’s 511 app.

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Jimmy Orr

Executive Editor

A third-generation Wyomingite, Jimmy Orr is the executive editor and co-founder of Cowboy State Daily.