He doesn't drink coffee or energy drinks when he's on the job. Snow removal provides his adrenaline.
As Powell and his fellow drivers continued to clear roads, a few commuters showed signs of appreciation with a friendly wave. Excluding the common courtesy of a few commuters, drivers for WYDOT are seldom praised for their work by local drivers, Powell said. But Wyomingites don't realize how lucky they have it.
But accolades are few and far between from in state residents. Telephone and email scoldings are more common, Goetz said.
Powell said. "But we're usually a few minutes late."
The snow removal plan for the district is nearly 200 pages. It outlines the removal strategies and routes in areas stretching from Torrington to Jeffrey City and Kaycee to Chugwater. A number of pages tell employees how to deal with commuter complaints. Others suggest how much traffic drivers can expect at a given time in a given area. With 1,556 miles of roadways to clear, the 48 plows cover a wide range of terrain and a wide range of situations, depending on the type of storm.
"You're not getting to Laramie, and you're not getting to Alcova," Goetz said.
"The guys and gals who drive live for the big storms," said Jeff Goetz, public relations specialist for WYDOT.
"A month ago, it looked like a repeat of 2012," said Chris Jones, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "We didn't see this type of precipitation in April last year." The moisture could do wonders for delaying fire season and providing much needed water for the state's ranchers and farmers.
"And then there's the wind," Powell said.
"We're way beyond what most states do," Goetz said.
He meticulously controlled the main blade and two other plows with joysticks that sit at the end of the armrest in his WYDOT truck. The blades shove the snow and throw up a giant white wake. When he drives over bridges on Interstate 25, he's cautious not to dump the snow onto the roads underneath.
The dispatcher on the other end of Powell's two way radio was transmitting reports of accidents on state roads without much of a break between reports. She called in multiple accidents involving tractor trailers and non commercial vehicles. Tuesday. There were no fatalities but there were several injuries. I 25 was closed south of Cheyenne but remained open in the rest of the state. WYDOT closed Highway 220 from the intersection at Highway 487 to Muddy Gap, and drivers were asked Nike Cortez Shoes For Babies to avoid driving on I 25 and Highway 26. Tuesday.
North Dakota doesn't plow until storms are finished, he said.
whiteout conditions didn't impede Shane Powell's vision.
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be seen. Powell was plowing in the middle of a snow cloud on Garden Creek Road. The hazy white light obfuscated visibility. But Powell was OK. He had on his sunglasses as he cleared the roadways around Casper Mountain Tuesday morning. Tuesday.
He was driving up a white abyss in the foothills of Casper Mountain. The city's well known backdrop was nowhere to Red Nike Cortez Womens
"Occasionally we get thank you letters from tourists and travelers from other states," Powell said.
After a spring storm nailed much of Wyoming a week ago, WYDOT snow removers were back in full force on Tuesday. Since the snow began to accumulate, there hasn't been a minute when a plow wasn't out on the state's roads, Powell said. Whenever the plows started making headway, Mother Nature resisted, blocking the work with additional snow.
Wyoming road crews plow through storm
Powell is one of 91 drivers who run 48 plows in two different shifts during snowstorms in WYDOT's Second District, which encompasses Natrona, Goshen, Platte and Converse counties.
And as snow stubbornly re covered the roads hour after hour, plow drivers saw the inevitable. Powell saw Casper commuters blow through red lights, speed on snow covered roads and pass his plow recklessly.
The Casper Police Department reported 31 accidents in town, six of which were hit and runs. "Look at the camera feeds. If it's a no unnecessary travel, assess if you really need to go. If it's an unavoidable trip, our slogan is: Ice and snow, take it slow."
Temperatures are 35 degrees below normal in Casper, which will keep the snowpack from melting. The temperatures will remain cool until the middle of next week, Jones said.
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