Colorado winter storm wreaks havoc on highway travel along I-70 |

Colorado winter storm wreaks havoc on highway travel along I-70

Vail Daily staff report

The season’s first major winter storm is dumping snow on parts of Summit County and wreaking havoc on highway travel.

A winter storm warning is in effect for parts of the Gore and Elk mountain ranges above 9,000 feet, including Vail Pass. The warning continues through midnight Monday, with the National Weather Service forecasting 8 to 16 inches of snow. Lighter accumulations are expected at elevations below 9,000 feet.

Winds of 10 to 20 mph, with gusts up to 35 mph, are accompanying the snow. Reduced visibility and snow-covered highways are creating dangerous driving conditions. The traction law is in effect on Interstate 70 from Vail to Copper Mountain and from Silverthorne to Bakerville. The traction law also is in place for Colorado Highway 91 over Fremont Pass and U.S. Highway 24. That means chains, alternative traction devices, snow tires, or four-wheel drive/all-wheel drive are required for all passenger vehicles.

I-70 over Vail Pass was closed Sunday evening from Vail to Copper Mountain because of multiple crashes and slide-offs, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. The pass didn’t reopen until 6:15 a.m. Monday.

Because of the closure, the Vail Municipal Building (75 S. Frontage Road in Vail) was designated as a shelter for motorists displaced as a result of the highway closure. Early Monday morning, Vail Interfaith Chapel was established as a second shelter because the municipal building was full.

Check here for highway conditions and closure updates.

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