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March 21, 2013
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Storm blamed for numerous accidents

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado - A storm that dumped more than a foot of snow made both skiers and motorists shout, but for different reasons.

The quick drop in temperature left roads icy and slick, said Bob Wilson, Colorado Department of Transportation spokesman.

"The storm came in and covered the road with ice, and conditions were adverse," Wilson said.

By Thursday afternoon a multitude of automobile accidents had closed Interstate 70 on and off all day between Georgetown and Vail, but no serious injuries were reported, said Trooper Josh Lewis with the Colorado State Patrol.

I-70 over Vail Pass closed in the eastbound direction Thursday afternoon and remained closed into the evening.

A number of vehicles got stuck eastbound headed up to the Twin Tunnels. A truck jackknifed in the westbound lane near Silverthorne.

No sooner did tow trucks got those wrecks cleared away, and CDOT opened both lanes in both directions, than another set of wrecks closed it again.

"It's one of these squalls that blows through and leaves icy roads," Wilson said. "We encourage everyone to slow down."

The storm dumped more than a foot of new snow on some ski resorts, and hammered Vail and Beaver Creek.

The storm started slowly, but gained momentum throughout the day.

"It was a foot of new snow by the end of the day. It just kept getting better and better," said Kim Porter, a Vail ski instructor.

Snow is likely to continue Friday afternoon, Friday night, and possibly stretch into Saturday.

"Fortunately, while there have been numerous crashes, nothing serious," Lewis said. "Lots of bent metal and property damage. With all those crashes going on at once, it's been a busy day."

Lewis reminded motorists that the best way to avoid a crash is to avoid the roads altogether. If you do have to drive, check CDOT's cotrip.org for road conditions.

"If you have to travel in poor conditions, give yourself at least twice the amount of time," Lewis said.

Even with recent snowstorms, Colorado's snowpack remains at 85 percent of normal and 90 percent of last year's readings, said the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.


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The VailDaily Updated Mar 21, 2013 11:37PM Published Mar 21, 2013 11:25PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.