Colorado’s latest winter storm moves out after more snow, wind
DENVER ” The fifth wintry storm in as many weeks moved out of Colorado early Monday, leaving behind 3 to 6 inches of snow across much of the Front Range, with more in the eastern plains and the mountains.
Two storm systems moving across the state Sunday unleashed snow and strong winds on the eastern plains, creating whiteout conditions that made travel difficult to impossible.
Transportation officials closed Interstate 70 in both directions from Airpark Road near Denver International Airport east to Burlington near the Kansas state line Sunday evening due to high winds, blowing snow, poor visibility and ice. State troopers were reporting several accidents, most of them involving four-wheel drive vehicles going too fast for conditions, said Mindy Crane, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Transportation.
“We’ve been getting gusts anywhere from 30 to 40 mph. That’s the main problem we’re battling now,” Crane said.
The road had reopened by Monday morning.
Multiple accidents caused by blowing snow and icy roads closed southbound Interstate 25 near Colorado Highway 14 in the Fort Collins area for two hours Sunday morning. Master Trooper Ron Watkins of the Colorado State Patrol said there were no reports of injuries.
Watkins said Colorado 86 from Kiowa east to I-70 was closed because of whiteout conditions. Snow drifts up to 3 feet and winds as strong as 60 mph were reported in the area, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder.
“With the storm, driving is hazardous all over the state,” Watkins said.
That stretch of Colorado 86 remained closed Monday, along with U.S. 160 between Springfield and Trinidad in southern Colorado.
The State Patrol was advising against unnecessary travel.
Glenda Clark, manager of the Flying J truck stop in Limon about 90 miles east of Denver, said people whose vehicles slid off the highway were waiting at the truck stop’s restaurant for tow trucks. She said truck drivers headed east were fueling up, trying to beat the worst of the storm so they wouldn’t get stranded.
Through Sunday, Denver has had 32 straight days of measurable snow cover, defined as having at least an inch of snow on the ground, the National Weather Service said.
Thirteen inches had fallen in Coal Creek Canyon, about 7 miles south of Boulder, by Sunday evening and nearly a foot had fallen southeast of Denver, National Weather Service meteorologist Rob Krohn said.
The good news for Coloradans weary after more than a month of frequent storms was that temperatures were expected to increase for the remainder of the week, giving some of the snow piled up around the state a chance to melt.
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