A paralyzing blizzard swept across the Front Range on Wednesday, dumping 20 inches of snow, grinding traffic to a near halt, shuttering Denver International Airport and prompting Gov. Bill Owens to declare a state of emergency.
With as much as 3 feet of total snow forecast by the time the storm dies down late this morning – a blizzard warning is in effect until noon – travel may not be much better today.
On the eve of the first day of winter, blowing snow whipped across the Colorado Plains and along the Front Range at speeds of more than 35 mph, creating whiteout conditions and havoc along major highways:
? Interstate 70 was closed from Airport Road in Denver all the way east to Kansas.
? After numerous crashes along its length, Interstate 25 eventually shut down from Wyoming to New Mexico.
? So many accidents choked U.S. 36 near Sheridan Boulevard that Broomfield police closed the highway.
? RTD bus commuters reported being stranded for hours on various routes, with the transit agency finally canceling all bus service at 7 p.m.
At DIA, meanwhile, authorities closed the airfield for the first time since the Blizzard of 2003.
Owens’ disaster declaration activated the National Guard to help the Colorado State Patrol rescue and assist stranded drivers.
I’ve…I’ve got some shoveling to do.