Going into the weekend, many Wellington residents were skeptical about what the epic 2021 March snowstorm would actually bring. News reports said it would start Friday, but it didn’t make it into town until Saturday afternoon. It was hard to tell how much fell or when it stopped because the wind came with it. Final reports put Wellington at over 18.5 inches, but snowdrifts landed three to four feet deep.
By Monday, social media outlets filled with pictures of snowdrifts covering vehicles and fences, icicles hanging from roofs and grills like unkempt mustaches, and snow-loving pets and children having a hell-of-a-good time.
While citizens may have been skeptical, the folks in charge were not. Representatives from the Wellington Fire Department, the Sheriff’s office, and the Town of Wellington met Thursday morning to prepare for the upcoming storm. Solid communication, leadership, and cooperation paid off, as troops rallied when the storm dumped its load on Wellington.
On March 14, 2021, the Wellington Fire Department received a record-breaking number of calls. Twenty in a little over twenty-four hours, a number far greater than the three-a-day daily average. The National Guard stood by to assist. All staff on deck, extra equipment in the bay, and paramedics. When fire trucks got stuck, they set out on foot. When the power went out, they fired up the generators.
Power outages, downed lines, drifts making roads impassable, medical emergencies, and automobile accidents were among the calls that kept crews busy as the storm swept through. I-25 to Cheyenne closed, leaving semis stacked up at the Wellington exit. The Red Cross opened up the Leeper Center as a warming shelter.
The Town of Wellington was also hard at work getting streets plowed. A plan for the plowing operations posted on the town website lets people know what to expect. Warnings and tips were shared, encouraging people to get cars off the streets to help plow efforts and stay home if there was no need to travel. Power companies worked fast to restore power.
Now, the snow melts into a slushy muddy mess, and plows make their way through drifts near and far. People resurface from their homes to take on the beast of a task of clearing sidewalks and driveways. Hopefully, kids on spring break are taking advantage of cash opportunities from snow shoveling and branch piling in between sledding and snowman building. Clean-up efforts will keep folks busy for a while.
Many had spring break, or winter reprieve, travel plans impacted by this storm. The lucky ones were getting out just in time to enjoy warmer climate and sunshine, viewing March’s epic snowstorm through pictures shared and keeping tabs on power outages. This author, a Wellington resident, types from her camper in Arizona, having hit the road just in time.
Give a wave and a ‘thanks’ to firefighters, police officers, utility workers, and Town of Wellington employees hard at working getting things back in order after this epic 2021 March snowstorm. And, keep an eye out for snowballs.
Article originally published in North Forty News, March 16, 2021, by Annie Lindgren