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Storm Strands Park Visitors

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A severe winter storm forced the closure of Highway 26/89/191 in Grand Teton National Park on Saturday afternoon, stranding approximately 160 travelers between Moran Junction and Flagg Ranch near the south gate of Yellowstone National Park.  Due to whiteout conditions caused by high winds and blowing and drifting snow, Grand Teton snowplow operators were unable to maintain a 22-mile stretch of highway between the Jackson Hole Airport and Moran Junction. Consequently, the main highway was closed at 1:45 pm. About 120 marooned travelers were provided emergency shelter, food, and makeshift accommodations at Flagg Ranch Resort, normally closed this time of year, and Signal Mountain Lodge – also closed for the season – provided accommodations for 25 stranded travelers.  Another dozen were put up at the Moran Elementary School.  Park plows, including the rotary plow, were able to reopen the road by 7:00 Sunday morning.  Wyoming Highway 22 over Teton Pass was also closed for a period of time during the storm as were roads in Eastern Idaho.  Additionally, a snowboarder who became lost after skiing out of bounds from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort became the focus of a search by county and national park searchers during the height of the storm.  He was found in Granite Canyon in Grand Teton National Park and escorted out unharmed.

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