Glenwood Canyon accident closes I-70 |

Glenwood Canyon accident closes I-70

Rocky Mountain News
Glenwood Canyon, Colorado

GLENWOOD CANYON, Colorado – An accident involving a hazardous material spill closed Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon as a winter storm laid a blanket of wet, heavy snow across southern and central Colorado.

The storm dropped as much as six inches of snow in Highlands Ranch, with lesser amounts elsewhere in the metro area.

The accident involving a semi truck near the Hanging Lake Tunnel in Glenwood Canyon east of Glenwood Springs closed both lanes of the highway for a few hours. The eastbound lanes have now reopened, with the westbound lanes expected to be reopened by 6:30 p.m. No detour is available.

Further easdt, icy roads made for slow travel this morning along the Interstate 70 corridor in the Front Range, with bumper-to-bumper traffic reported at times. Late this afternoon, chains restrictions were put into effect for the west side of Vail Pass for eastbound commercial vehicles.

.Chain restrictions were in place as of 9 a.m. for westbound commercial vehicles using the Eisenhower Tunnel as well as those going over Fremont Pass. Loveland Pass was closed overnight and remained closed this morning.

Driving conditions are expected to deteriorate as the snowfall is predicted to increase, with a total accumulation over the north and central mountains of 4 to 8 inches by tonight. Winter driving conditions are also forecast for the Palmer Divide between Denver and Colorado Springs.

The National Weather Service is predicting only a slight chance of flurries for the metro area and eastern plains, but also predicts wind gust of up to 40 mph.

About 500 homes in southwestern Colorado are without power as wet, heavy snow causes power lines to droop and slingshot upward as the snow falls away.

The bouncing wires coming into contact with surrounding objects cause lights to flicker or power to be automatically cut. Power was restored to most of about 600 homes that lost power Friday but an additional 500 homes are without power this morning as snow began melting.

La Plata Electric Association operations superintendent John Stephenson says the outages were in small pockets in La Plata and Archuleta counties.

The storm swept through Colorado during the Thanksgiving holiday and dumped 3 1/2 inches of wet snow in Durango and about 6 inches in the San Juan Mountains Thursday.

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