Raging winds on Interstate 80 slowed traffic to a crawl and prompted many semi trucks to pull over on Jan. 3, 2021. (Stacy Wells)

Wyoming’s infamous winds raged across many parts of the state this week, creating perilous driving conditions and wreaking havoc on property. 

The Wyoming Department of Transportation closed sections of Interstate 80 — aka the Snow Chi Minh Trail — between Laramie and Rawlins on Monday due to whiteouts. Portions of Interstate 25 and other highways were also temporarily closed due to foul weather and the risk of blow-overs. In Riverton, gusting winds tore the roof off a commercial building on Federal Boulevard, one of the town’s main arteries. 

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Photographer Stacy Wells got her own taste of I-80’s notorious winter conditions in early January. While heading west from Laramie, Wells ran into a storm so intense it prompted many semis to pull over and slowed traffic to about 30 miles per hour. She captured the dramatic scene in this image. 

“The lighting was just surreal,” she told WyoFile in an email. Conditions were sketchy, she recalled, “but during the crazy storm there were awesome bits of light cascading through the darkness.” 

Do you have striking Wyoming images? Enter our Photo Friday contest by submitting your photos to editor@wyofile.com.

Katie Klingsporn reports on outdoor recreation, public lands, education and general news for WyoFile. She’s been a journalist and editor covering the American West for 20 years. Her freelance work has...

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  1. Hi Katie,

    Love your thoughts.

    BAC you related to Bill K. the mechanical engineer. I will never forget going into his home office in Lander and seeing AutoCAD for the first time probably in the mid 1980’s. Lines and circles and text becoming a real drawing all by a computer. Awesome!

    Jerry Crews
    Cardinal Design Group
    405 South 7th Street East
    Riverton, WY 82501