Storm brings white Colorado Christmas |

Storm brings white Colorado Christmas

Colleen Slevin
Associated Press
Vail, CO Colorado
David Zalubowski/APWith two dogs to help out, an unidentified homeowner Tuesday clears his walks after a winter storm dumped up to six inches of snow on the metropolitan area to give Denver a white Christmas.

DENVER – A winter storm delivered a White Christmas to many parts of Colorado, the second straight year there’s been snow on the holiday in the metro area.

The storm dropped 19 inches at the Steamboat Springs ski resort and 12 inches were reported in the foothills west of Denver.

Light snow also fell in parts of Colorado’s northeast plains where strong winds caused snowdrifts. The storm was also moving through parts of Wyoming and the Nebraska Panhandle.

The snow and blowing snow made travel difficult. A semitrailer slid off Interstate 80 in Wyoming and overturned, and numerous other vehicles went into ditches on the interstate and other highways, Cheyenne County Sheriff’s Deputy Fred Wiedeburg said. No injuries were reported.

Denver saw 7 inches of snow, putting it on track to break a record for the most snow to fall on Christmas. So far, the highest Christmas snowfall meteorologists have been able to find in their old records for Denver was 6.2 inches in 1894, said Carl Burroughs, a hydrometeorological technician with the National Weather Service.

Other Christmases have had more of the white stuff, including last year when 0.2 inches fell on top of 15 inches that was left over from a blizzard that started Dec. 20 and paralyzed the city for days.

Denver International Airport remained open Tuesday although a handful of flights were listed as delayed. Meanwhile, United Airlines canceled about 50 flights in Denver ” about 14 percent of its scheduled departures ” as well as some in Chicago to catch up from delays caused by the Midwest storm that had a ripple effect on airports during the busy holiday travel weekend.

Since Tuesday is a light travel day, United spokeswoman Robin Urbanski said, the airline was using it to move planes and crews to the airports where they need to be to carry holiday travelers home. She said flights weren’t crowded, so passengers on flights canceled Tuesday were moved to other ones.

Before last year, the last time snow fell on Christmas in the Mile High City was in 2000, when the official reading at the old Stapleton Airport was 0.9 inches.

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