Governor Gordon Declares State of Emergency Due to Winter Storm Xylia
Written by Andrew-Rossi on March 17, 2021
Winter Storm Xylia has been so devastating to southern Wyoming that the governor has activated the Wyoming National Guard to provide emergency assistance, should it be needed.
Effective March 16, Wyoming is in the State of Emergency. This is Governor Mark Gordon’s direct response to the massive winter storm that has paralyzed Cheyenne, Casper, and most of southern Wyoming.
This week’s snowstorm delivered more than 30 inches of wet, heavy snow to southeast Wyoming, closing Interstates 25 and 80, causing power outages and leading to the closure of city, county, and state offices and school districts for multiple days.
Highways are being cleared but many secondary roads remain impassable. Several counties in the affected area are currently considering their own emergency declarations.
An emergency declaration allows the director of the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security (WOHS) to mobilize state and federal personnel, resources, and organizations to address the impacts of the storm. It also directs the Adjutant General, in consultation with WOHS and the Governor, to deploy, if needed, the Wyoming National Guard to areas of the state that have been identified for emergency assistance.
Executive Order 2021-4 allows Governor Gordon to take more direct action and provide aid to Wyomingites still buried in snow.
“The scale and intensity of this storm have caused severe impacts to our transportation infrastructure and agriculture producers,” Governor Gordon said. “As the scope of the situation unfolds and with the possibility of flooding as temperatures warm, it’s imperative we make all our resources available to respond to the needs in our communities.”
As of Wednesday, National Guard members have yet to be activated.
This is the governor’s fourth executive order in 2021. Wyoming’s last State of Emergency was declared a little over a year ago on March 13, 2020, in response to the initial outbreak of COVID-19.