Blue Sky Basin receives more than a foot of snow; Vail Pass open in both directions |

Blue Sky Basin receives more than a foot of snow; Vail Pass open in both directions

Vail Daily staff report

The season’s first major winter storm is expected to dump as much as 16 inches of snow on parts of Eagle County by the time Monday evening comes to a close.

More than a foot of snow fell in Blue Sky Basin on Vail Mountain overnight Sunday, and heavy snow and whiteout conditions led to an hours-long closure of Interstate 70 over Vail Pass. The Vail Municipal Building and Vail Interfaith Chapel were designated as emergency shelters for stranded motorists. The highway reopened Monday morning, but there’s a chance for another 4 to 6 inches of snow before the storm exits the region.

The winter storm warning for parts of the Gore and Elk mountain ranges above 9,000 feet remains in effect until midnight. Lighter accumulations are expected at elevations below 9,000 feet, including the town of Vail.

Winds of 10 to 20 mph, with gusts up to 35 mph, are accompanying the snow. Reduced visibility and snow-covered highways are creating dangerous driving conditions.

The Eisenhower Tunnel also was closed temporarily Monday morning because of a power outage, but travel in both directions was restored at about 6:30 a.m.

Check here for highway conditions and closure updates.

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