Winter storm moves into Colorado
DENVER – A winter storm moved into Colorado on Saturday, bringing up to a foot of snow in the mountains and creating hazardous driving conditions, but causing skiers to rejoice.
Trucks traveling on Interstate 70 through the Eisenhower Tunnel were required to have chains on their tires because of the cold Pacific storm. The westbound lanes of Interstate 70 near Glenwood Springs were closed for about two hours while crews removed a jackknifed truck.
The Colorado Department of Transportation issued a road advisory Saturday afternoon asking people in the Denver area not to drive unless it was absolutely necessary.
The advisory included areas along Interstate 25 both north of the city and south to Monument. Roads were icy and several accidents blocked lanes of traffic in both directions.
The storm was good news for the state’s ski resorts, coming just before the busy Thanksgiving weekend.
Beaver Creek opened Saturday with 31 trails after receiving nearly five feet of snow since Nov. 1. Vail and Monarch ski areas opened on Friday.
“”It was excellent,” Tom Boyd said after getting off the slopes at Beaver Creek on Saturday. “”The snow was surprisingly good. It was a little bit sticky, but it was surprisingly deep.”
The snow brought cold air with it, though. Vail ski patrolman Chris Reeder said when the weather front came through the temperature dropped 20 degrees in an hour, keeping some people off the slopes.
The low temperature at Vail was 9 degrees, with a wind chill of minus 30, Reeder said.
The National Weather Service issued winter weather warnings for parts of the High Country as well as weather advisories for more than a dozen counties in eastern and northern Colorado.
The foothills and mountains in Larimer County got snow accumulations between 6 inches and one foot by Saturday afternoon, the weather service reported. The I-25 corridor received between 3 and 6 inches of snow, and areas in the Eastern Plains reported 1 to 2 inches.
The storm hit Wyoming first, forcing the University of New Mexico football team to divert its flight from Laramie to Denver Friday night. The team then took a bus and arrived in Laramie at 3 a.m. Saturday, nine hours before they were to play Wyoming.
Gloria Lane, 56, of Arvada, Colo. was one of three people to die in weather-related accidents in Wyoming. Authorities said she died Friday afternoon after losing control of her car while driving westbound on Interstate 80 three miles east of Cheyenne. Her car rolled and hit an exit sign after leaving the roadway.
November is traditionally the second snowiest month in Colorado after March. More storms were forecast for next week.