A strong wind storm blew through Grand Teton National Park and surrounding areas shortly before 6:00 p.m. yesterday. The event temporarily stranded visitors on the Teton Park, Moose-Wilson, and Signal Mountain Summit roads and blocked traffic in many other areas. Park rangers, road crews, and fire engines quickly responded to clear park roads of over 150 downed trees and search teams were able to rescue all park visitors by 11:00 p.m. Despite the number of falling trees, no injuries were reported.
While response efforts were complicated by power, phone, and internet outages, park crews were able to clear over 150 trees and rescue all park visitors by 11:00 p.m. Park rangers staffed downed power line areas on the Teton Park and Pilgrim Creek roads through the night. Lower Valley Energy crews were able to remove downed lines from the Teton Park Road around 6:00 a.m. Tuesday and the road was re-opened. Only minor property damage to vehicles and structures was reported.
While most park areas and services are open at this time, many areas are operating on backup power generators. Park maintenance crews and Lower Valley Energy are continuing to restore full functionality to utility systems, water systems, wastewater treatment facilities, and other park infrastructure. Full repair of this infrastructure is expected to take a few days.
Visitors to Grand Teton are reminded that severe weather can strike at any time during the summer months. Keep a keen eye to the sky, and be prepared to spend extended periods of time in your vehicle or campsite. Downed power lines should always be treated as live and should never be approached.