FREMONT COUNTY — Travelers attempted to make it to Teton County are receiving an escort via the Idaho State Police.
Fremont County Dispatch workers reported ISP escorting drivers “one way at a time on Highway 33.” Dispatch also reported that snowdrifts are at least 17 feet high along Highway 33.
Dispatch workers reported that two vehicles got stuck on Highway 32 Tuesday. They also reported Google directing people to take 1000 N to get to Highway 33, but eventually 1000 N. was closed as well.
The snows also blocked Cave Falls Road requiring Fremont County workers to open up the road to allow someone to get to a medical appointment.
“Road and Bridge ‘punched a hole’ in the road, so they could just drive out. That’s the terminology they use when the roads are drifted in. They made a one-lane road through there,” said Fremont County Search and Rescue Secretary Eric Thomas.
Thomas noted the enormous amount of snow the region has received and reported that nearly 9 inches of snow had fallen in Island Park while White Elephant had received 12.1 inches of snow recently.
Thomas is especially concerned about avalanche danger the recent snows may cause in the region.
“It’s pretty bad. I’m hoping once people start riding this weekend, that they’ll use caution. Human triggered avalanches are likely and natural avalanches are possible,” he said.
Avalanche danger is at the “considerable” level, Thomas said.
“With heavier snow or more wind loading, it could move up to extreme by the weekend,” he said.
Thomas said that Search and Rescue is ready if needed to help those stranded in snowstorms.
“We have the manpower and the equipment. We’re not concerned or lacking right now. As long as we can see and get up there, we can do it,” he said. “We’ve had searchers where we’ve been in whiteout blizzards. We’ve managed to locate individuals in that type of weather.”
The snowy windy weather shut down roads earlier this week and also caused area school districts to temporarily shut or to have starting delays on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday Fremont, Sugar-Salem and Madison School Districts were all closed. Some Ashton businesses also experienced closures earlier this week but reopened on Wednesday.
For more information on road closures visit https://hb.511.idaho.gov/.