The City of Laramie is taking stock of the damage and the clean-up work ahead after high winds blew through the city yesterday, knocking down power lines and trees, damaging property and causing a gas leak. A 90 mph gust was reported at the Laramie Airport.

City staff are currently working with the Albany County Emergency Management Agency and local utility companies to coordinate clean-up efforts.

Crews are working to clear branches and debris from streets, sidewalks and other areas and are assessing the damage in city parks and the cemetery, according to a city news release.  The cemetery is currently closed to the public due to the high number of downed trees in that area.

Laramie residents looking to dispose of branches can use two drop-off locations that have been set up by the city. One is located at LaBonte Park at 5th and Canby Street and the other is the Aragon Complex on 22nd Street and Armory Drive. The City asks that residents place material within the orange cones that have been set out and that they are cut to a reasonable size. Through July 14, city crews will also pick up branches for residents that have been brought to the curb and cut to a reasonable size.

Branches and trees can be taken to the landfill on 162 Roger Canyon Road during regular hours free of charge, as there is no fee for dumping green waste.

City assessments of damaged trees and downed power lines are ongoing. The city will be posting updates on their website.

The power is still out for many Laramie residents across town. Rocky Mountain Power said about 200 people were still without power this morning and crews are currently working to restore electricity to those areas.

Tiffany Erickson, media contact for Rocky Mountain Power, said the company is working diligently to get the power up after the strong winds yesterday tore down power lines and brought tree limbs down on wires. Erickson said the company brought in extra crews from Casper and Rawlins to try to get the power back on in Laramie.

Erickson said the number of customers with no power is down from a high of over 2,000 people Tuesday night. She said crews are investigating the causes of nearly 50 separate outages still affecting Laramie and was unable to give an estimation of when the power would be fully restored to the Laramie area.

“It’s going to depend on the damage,” Erickson said. “Whether it’s a broken pole as opposed to just opening a circuit.”

Laramie residents can report downed power lines to Rocky Mountain Power at 1 (877) 508-5088.

Residents in the area of Lyons Street from Hancock Street to Shield Street between 9th and 10th streets were allowed to return to their homes at 11:15 p.m. last night after being evacuated yesterday afternoon for a gas leak. About 20-50 homes were reportedly affected.

Fire Chief Dan Johnson said the gas leak was caused when the tree ball of an uprooted tree displaced the gas line. Johnson said the gas company, Black Hills Energy, had stopped the leak last night and was working on permanent repairs to the line. The Laramie Fire Department ordered the evacuation.

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