First big snowfall since January snarls traffic on I-70 |

First big snowfall since January snarls traffic on I-70

The first major snowstorm since early January hit Summit County hard and fast yesterday.

Beginning around 1 p.m., an hour or so earlier than forecasters predicted, the skies opened up with big, fat flakes, clogging traffic across Summit within an hour.

On westbound Interstate 70 between Frisco and Silverthorne, several multi-car accidents caused an hour-long delay early in the afternoon — right around the time the closure gates were dropped at Dillon Dam Road. Chain laws went into effect soon after for eastbound I-70 between Silverthorne and the Eisenhower Tunnel.

Closer to Denver, eager powder hounds were snarled in nasty bumper-to-bumper traffic after I-70 was closed between Georgetown and Silverthorne. Several accidents brought cars and semi-trucks to a standstill as teams of plows took to the roads, clearing off nearly 3 inches of snow already sticking to the pavement.

Then social media exploded with praises for Ullr. By 4 p.m., the live snow camera at Breckenridge showed 6 inches, while the camera at Keystone showed a touch more than 3 inches. Both resorts paired the piling snow with constant Twitter chatter about the predicted foot (or more) of fresh powder over the weekend.

Colorado’s unofficial powder-seer, Joel Gratz of Open Snow, predicts up to 16 inches for Summit before Sunday night. If the weather patterns hold, he says, Sunday night will be a doozy: up to 8 inches at Breckenridge, 6 inches at Keystone and 8 inches at Copper.

Don’t miss first chair on Monday.

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