WYDOT deals with avalanches in Hoback Canyon
by Wyoming Department of Transportation
April 5, 2019
The Wyoming Department of Transportation avalanche and maintenance crews responded to natural slide activity on US 189/191 Hoback Canyon on Thursday, April 4, 2019.
At roughly 1 p.m, WYDOT crews dispatched to a natural avalanche at the Cow of the Woods in Hoback Canyon. The slide did reach the roadway. Crews then initiated some avalanche mitigation work on the Cow of the Wood slide path and brought down a controlled slide over the initial slide that extended over both lanes that was roughly 16 feet high at its crown.
Maintenance crews then punched a hole through the snow slide and proceeded to moved stopped traffic through. They continued to the Calf of the Wood, another nearby slide path and continued with their avalanche mitigation measures. They were able to bring down some snow and debris that reached the adjacent ditch. While they were working to clean up the snow and debris, the Cow of the Wood came down a third time, but the snow and debris only reached the fog line of the road.
The roadway was opened back up to full traffic at about 3:45 p.m. A notification was sent out to the 511 alert system notifying travelers to "be prepared to stop and expect delays."
WYDOT's avalanche team will be monitoring the Hoback Canyon, Snake River Canyon and Teton Pass closely as warming temperatures and more rain is forecasted for the valley.