MOFFAT COUNTY, Colo — The Moffat County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) rescued 19 people and a dog who became stranded along highways in a blizzard on Wednesday.
The Sheriff's Office closed Highway 40 between Craig and the Colorado-Utah state line due to blizzard conditions on Wednesday. Highway 318 was also closed between Maybell and the Colorado-Utah state line, MCSO said.
"I think [the bad driving conditions] had to do a lot with the wind and the combination with snow. We had gusts of 50 to 60 mph in that part of Colorado, in addition to continuous snowfall," said Erin Walter, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction. "It just made ground blizzard-like conditions and near-whiteout conditions."
Moffat County Search and Rescue was called to the area to assist multiple stranded motorists in the area, MCSO said. The 19 people and the dog were rescued from vehicles along Highway 318 using the county's snowcat, according to the Sheriff's Office.
MCSO transported the rescued parties to the Maybell Community Center, and from there they were taken to Craig where overnight accommodations were made, MCSO said.
On Thursday, the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control's multi-mission aircraft flew the area to find vehicles. They relayed locations to ground crews who will investigate for potential stranded motorists.
Crews were working to clear both highways, according to MCSO. Highways 318 and 40 are expected to remain closed until at least Thursday afternoon.
Multi-mission aircraft flies Moffat County highways to find stranded vehicles
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Latest from 9NEWS
9NEWS+ has multiple live daily shows including 9NEWS Mornings, Next with Kyle Clark and 9NEWS+ Daily, an original streaming program. 9NEWS+ is where you can watch live breaking news, weather updates, and press conferences. You can also replay recent newscasts and find videos on demand of our top stories, local politics, investigations and Colorado specific features.
To download 9NEWS+ on Roku search for KUSA.
To download 9NEWS+ on Fire TV search for 9NEWS.