COLORADO, USA — For an industry that’s built on constant movement, everything stopped this week.
Major roads in northeastern Colorado are finally open again more than a day and a half after being closed for a blizzard. The closures left a lot of truckers stranded at rest areas with no other option but to sit and wait.
"Thirty hours inside of a truck. Not much to do. Watch movies. Video games," said Thomas Mack, a truck driver heading home to Minnesota. "This is the first time I can say ever that I’ve had to wait this long. I’ve waited numerous times, but not this long at all."
In a place where people are always coming and going, Tuesday and Wednesday looked very similar at the truck stop off I-76 in Hudson. A blizzard in northeastern Colorado limited movement from one side of the parking lot to the other.
"From here to inside of the truck stop. That’s all I’ve moved," Mack said. "The truck has stayed in the same spot. It hasn’t moved a centimeter. Nothing’s changed at all."
The Colorado Department of Transportation said the interstates out east haven’t been closed this long since the bomb cyclone of 2019.
But it's not just Colorado's problem. In situations like this, CDOT doesn't open the interstate until the roads in Nebraska are also clear. That’s to make sure truckers can safely make it to their destination and not get stuck somewhere with no services.
"It’s been about 30 hours since I’ve been here and I think other truckers have been here even before me," said Isaac Kocho, a truck driver on his way to Nebraska. "If the wheels aren’t turning, nobody’s earning."
I-76 opened back up Wednesday evening, connecting Colorado to Nebraska.
"The moment this road opens and everyone finds out, it’s going to be a race to see who can get to the ramp first," Mack said.
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