Denver storm cancels flights, leads to outages |

Denver storm cancels flights, leads to outages

Associated Press Writer
Pedestrians struggle to hold on to their umbrellas as they navigate the 16th Street mall in downtown Denver as a spring storm packing cold temperatures, high winds and snow envelopes Colorado's mountain and Front Range communities on Tuesday, March 23, 2010. Forecasters are predicting from one to two feet of wet, heavy snow will fall on the foothills west of Denver before the spring storm moves out of the intermountain West by late Wednesday. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER – Wet, heavy snow that canceled flights, snapped tree branches and left thousands of people in the Denver-area without power also closed dozens of schools Wednesday and delayed openings at several offices along the Front Range.

The National Weather Service said 23 inches of snow was reported Wednesday morning in Jefferson County and about 9 inches in Denver, with tree branches sagging under the weight.

Denver International Airport estimated up to 5,000 people spent the night there after their flights were canceled Tuesday. Airport workers passed out cots and blankets.

The airport planned to keep three of four runways open Wednesday during the busy spring season, with one runway closed on a rotating basis for snow removal.

Xcel Energy said about 7,500 customers, mostly in the Denver area, were still without power Wednesday morning. About 45 crews were working to restore power by 5 p.m. About 36,400 customers lost power at various times after snow started falling Tuesday, Xcel Energy spokesman Tom Henley said.

Barbara Foley, 70, of Englewood rode the bus to work Wednesday in downtown Denver after she woke up to find about a foot of snow on her car. She was happy the bus arrived on time, with a driver in a good mood.

“I told the driver, ‘You’re just as good as the mailman,'” she said. “He said, ‘No, lady, we’re better.'”

In the mountains, U.S. 6 over Loveland Pass was closed for avalanche control and because of hazardous conditions. Farther west, Colorado 65 near Grand Junction also was closed for avalanche control.

On the plains in southeastern Colorado, a jackknifed semitrailer and snow closed U.S. 287 between Springfield and Lamar.

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