LIVE storm updates: Vail Pass reopens, bomb cyclone blasts Colorado
March 13, 2019
A blizzard so nasty it’s being called a bomb cyclone is wreaking havoc across Colorado, especially in the high country, where avalanche mitigation on Interstate 70 has shut down Vail Pass in both directions.
Keep it locked here for updates on road and school closures and more.
Governor declares state of emergency
A statewide blizzard saw 14 of 14 flights canceled at the Eagle County Regional Airport, and more than 1,200 at Denver International Airport by midafternoon Wednesday.
Gov. Jared Polis declared a state of emergency on Wednesday for the first time in his short tenure, activating the state national guard to assist state and local authorities in helping hundreds of stranded motorists across the state. Over 500 motorists are reportedly stranded in El Paso County alone.
Polis spokeswoman Shelby Weiman said Wednesday that the state Emergency Operations Center and the Department of Transportation are working with local counties “to prioritize the most immediate needs for those resources.”
“Stay home,” Amy Ford, of the Colorado Department of Transportation, said during a Wednesday afternoon media conference call.
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As for the rest of the state, they’re in for it, CDOT officials said.
“This is a statewide blizzard. If people are home, that is the best place to be today,” Ford said.
Vail Pass closed most of the afternoon
4:44 p.m.: Vail Pass is open in both directions. Please drive safely.
12:07 p.m.: The Colorado Department of Transportation is conducting avalanche mitigation on Vail Pass. Both directions of travel are closed from mile markers 184 to 190. Expect delays and go to cotrip.org for updates.
Schools cancel after-school programs
10:46 a.m.: Eagle County Schools and the Vail Mountain School are canceling all after-school activities. This includes Power Hours, sports practice, and all events at Eagle County Schools, and all sports practices, After School Academy, ski tutoring, dryland training and meetings at VMS.
School itself continues on regular schedules with buses running their regular afternoon routes. VMS parents are asked to pick up all students during regular carpool at 3:15 p.m.
After school care is also canceled at VMS, however, staff will be on hand to supervise children in the event that parents cannot pick up their child or make other transportation arrangements.
Nearly 1,000 DIA flights canceled
10:44 a.m.: Airlines at Denver International Airport have already canceled 973 flights in anticipation of a blizzard.
"Some airlines have already canceled or delayed flights. We expect flight delays and cancellations throughout the day," said Emily Williams, DIA spokeswoman.
She said the airport is expecting anywhere from between 5 to 10 inches of snow.
Southwest Airlines alone has canceled 372 flights or 90 percent of all its flights, according to FlightAware. SkyWest has canceled 204 flights or 73 percent of its DIA flights.
Frontier, United, Trans States, GoJet, Republic, American Airlines, Delta, Spirit, Jazz Air, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Lufthansa, Air Canada and JetBlue have also canceled flights.
Read the full story via The Denver Post.