Vail Pass closed in both directions
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado ” Interstate 70 is closed in both directions on Vail Pass due to high winds and snowfall, authorities said.
The closure begins eastbound at the main Vail exit and westbound at Silverthorne, authorities said.
Heavy snowfall and wind gusts of 60 to 70 miles per hour could keep Vail Pass closed for “multiple hours,” said Sgt. Shawn Olmstead of the Colorado State Patrol.
“There’s zero visibility up there,” Olmstead said. “It’s just too dangerous.”
Snowplows are trying to clear the Interstate, but the snow is being blown back onto Vail Pass, which is covered with around eight inches of snow, he said.
“They just can’t keep up with the wind and the heavy snowfall,” he said.
Blowing, falling snow on icy, snowpacked roads slowed already heavy traffic to a crawl on Interstate 70 near the Eisenhower Tunnel, before officials closed the Interstate between Silverthorne and Georgetown in both directions Sunday evening.
The main route between Denver and many of the state’s major ski resorts was closed at the tunnel around 5:30 p.m.
The American Red Cross said about 860 people were staying at four shelters that it opened in the mountains ” in Kremmling, Silverthorne, Breckenridge and Frisco ” for stranded travelers.
U.S. 6 was closed over Loveland Pass over the tunnel until Monday morning, also due to poor weather, said Ted Hill of the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Some drivers turned on their hazard lights as they inched along to warn drivers behind them.
U.S. 40 over Rabbit Ears Pass and also Berthoud Pass was closed due to poor weather and accidents.
Snow, ice and accidents also closed Colorado 134 at Gore Pass, Colorado 14 near Walden and U.S. 160 near Walsenburg.
U.S. 287 and U.S. 85, which lead to Wyoming, were closed due to adverse weather conditions there.
The Associated Press contributed. This story will be updated tonight on vaildaily.com.