Snowstorm strikes northern Rockies

| 11/3/2003

A deadly storm struck the northern Rocky Mountain region, dropping heavy snow and freezing rain, causing dozens of highway collisions, The Associated Press reported.

Travel was hazardous Thursday, Oct. 30, throughout Wyoming, with about 50 wrecks reported statewide since around daybreak Wednesday, when the storm first hit.

At least 9 inches of snow had fallen around Lander, WY, and about 7 inches was reported in Casper, WY, from early Wednesday to Thursday morning. Snowfall totals were expected to double before the storm ends around Sunday, Nov. 2.

Northern Utah saw up to 5 inches. Snow in Montana was light, but forecasters said temperatures could sink below zero Halloween night.

A broad swath that stretched from the southwest to northeast corners of Wyoming remained under a winter-storm warning through Friday morning, The AP reported. Temperatures were expected to stay in the 20s Thursday, a sharp contrast to Wednesday's 60s and 70s.

Drivers are advised to avoid any unnecessary travel in the Casper area because of heavy snow, strong winds, blowing snow and limited visibility.

Many truckers took heed.

"Our lot's been full all night long," Teresa Gaylord, night cashier at Casper's Eastgate Travel Plaza, told the news agency Thursday morning. "We have 15 acres of paved parking, and it's all full."