“State of Emergency” Declared for Jackson Hole, WY:

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Teton Village (Jackson Hole, WY) yesterday. Many power poles are down. screen shot image: Lance Koudele

The Teton County Commission declared a state of emergency for Teton Village, WY (Jackson Hole) on Wednesday night in an emergency meeting.

The declaration of emergency was issued due to:

“hazardous winter conditions including but not limited to power outages, anticipated flooding and heavy snowfall, increased risk of avalanche and ongoing impacts to the transportation system.”

This declaration of emergency will last until Monday, February 13th.

Jackson Hole ski resort will be closed until at least Monday, February 13th and has been closed since yesterday morning.  Tuesday was an unreal powder day at Jackson Hole.

Connery Lundin in the deep off Sublette Ridge on Tuesday. photo: coop kahlenberg/snowbrains

Teton County Press Release:


Teton County declares state of emergency for areas impacted by power outage

Jackson, Wyo. – Feb. 9, 2017Due to the extended nature of Tuesday evening’s power outage and the anticipation of continuing impacts from hazardous weather conditions throughout the weekend, Teton County has declared a state of emergency through Monday, Feb. 13, for Teton Village and neighboring subdivisions and private lands impacted by the power outage.

It is important to note that the declaration does not include the vast majority of Jackson Hole and Teton County, including the Town of Jackson, Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks and all other outlying areas. The declaration area includes electric customers served by the Crystal Springs substation, which includes the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, John Dodge, Shooting Star, Bar B Bar, Ellen Creek, Lake Creek Ranches, Poker Flats and others in the vicinity.

The Teton County Board of County Commissioners passed a temporary declaration on Wednesday evening in an emergency meeting. Per statute they will hold a special public meeting to reconsider and act upon the declaration at 9 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 10. Meeting details, including a link to livestream the meeting over the internet, are available at www.TetonWyo.org.

The declaration is intended to provide a unifying statement recognizing the large-scale and wide-ranging community efforts to address significant winter storm conditions that began on the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 7, including, but not limited to, power outages, anticipated flooding and heavy snowfall, increased risk of avalanche, and ongoing impacts to the transportation.

“This is official recognition by the county commissioners of all the problems our community is dealing with,” said Rich Ochs, Teton County Emergency Management Coordinator. “The declaration allows the commissioners to potentially modify county policies if necessary. It provides recognition regarding how everybody has been working together – neighbor helping neighbor. It could help with insurance claims. And it just gives the responders and utility crews the time and space they need to get this fixed.”

Ochs said the closure of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has been extremely unusual and creates a ripple effect of consequences throughout the community.

Yet Ochs and commissioners also want to stress that despite the state of emergency declaration, the rest of Jackson Hole remains open for business — a theme echoed by the Chamber of Commerce and the Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board.

“While the situation at Teton Village is not ideal and communications from there may not be encouraging, ensure our visitors that Jackson Hole is open for business,” Joe Madera, Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce Board Chair wrote in a message to Chamber members Wednesday. “We are very fortunate that our destination has a variety of activities for our visitors to enjoy.”

“The Town of Jackson is open, operating and offering plenty of recreational activities to experience winter in Jackson Hole, including skiing at Snow King Mountain and Grand Targhee Resort, nordic skiing, snowshoeing in Grand Teton National Park, arts and entertainment at the Center for the Arts and more,” according to a storm update post on the VisitJacksonHole.com blog.

For travelers coming to the area or already here who may be impacted by the Teton Village power outage, the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce is fielding calls to assist with alternative lodging and activity accommodations. Call (307) 733-3316 for further info.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and businesses in Teton Village are planning to remain closed through Sunday. Teton Village officials are also asking residents and visitors to respect the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s “no unnecessary travel” advisory for North Hwy. 390 to allow utility crews to safely carry out their work.

“We appreciate the county approving the emergency declaration,” said Melissa Turley, executive director of the Teton Village Association. “It’s just going to take a little time to get back on our feet. Come next week, the power will be back on, the snow will be amazing, and we look forward to welcoming guests to Teton Village again.”

Please note that there is not an official evacuation order place for Teton Village or neighboring subdivisions without power. However, many hotels have chosen to close, and many residents are choosing to find other accommodations due to lack of power and phone service. For answers to frequently asked questions, please see the following news release: http://www.tetonwyo.org/bcc/news/power-outage-faqs/15177

Contact: Cindy Harger, Teton County Public Information Specialist

Phone: 307-732-5786 (office), (307) 264-9102 (mobile)
Email address: charger@tetonwyo.org


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