DENVER — Coloradans were warned to stay off the roads and to hunker down due to a winter storm that's dumped more than a foot of snow on the Front Range.
9NEWS has a team of journalists working to cover the snow. Check back to this blog for the latest updates from our reporters and the government agencies that are responding to the storm.
The Regional Transportation District (RTD) will resume bus, light rail and commuter rail service Tuesday. In some areas where roads are not cleared of snow, there could be detours in place and with additional snow predicted, there may be delays. Access-a-Ride paratransit and FlexRide service will also operate, RTD said.
Boulder Valley School District announces a snow day for Tuesday
Denver’s snowplow operations will continue into Tuesday, with drivers on duty to address both the main streets and residential streets, the city said Monday afternoon.
With more snow in the forecast Tuesday, the city’s large plow drivers will remain on duty clearing the main streets in response to the weekend’s storm, as well as addressing Tuesday’s snowfall, the city said.
Residents can track Denver’s plows at pocketgov.org/plowtracker
DIA has reopened four of its six runways, which were closed for more than 24 hours due to the weekend storm.
The airport said cancellations and delays are still possible.
Colorado State Patrol (CSP) is asking anyone whose car got stuck in the weekend blizzard to be patient.
Here's an update from CSP on how drivers can find their abandoned vehicles:
"Due to the volume of vehicles involved, motorists should return to the location where they left their vehicles and travel in the same direction. Stay in the exit lane and take the first exit from this location. Vehicles towed from this section of the roadway will be moved to the largest parking lot from the off-ramp. This could be a mass transit parking lot, a large retail location, or a recreation center.
"For all motorists, please drive with caution and regulate your speed in the slush and wet conditions, which will freeze during evening hours.
"If you are still unable to locate your vehicle, the Colorado State Patrol will provide a complete list of tow companies used in this storm once it is compiled."
RTD is resuming limited light rail and commuter rail service, with the exception of the R Line, which the agency says still won't run "due to excessive snow on the track."
Bus service is still suspended for the day, and there has not been a set day or time for when that will resume.
Here are the rail lines that are resuming service:
- The A, G and N lines will operate every 30 minutes.
- The B line will operate once an hour.
- All light rail lines with the exception of the R Line will operate once an hour.
Here's why RTD said buses aren't running yet:
"Due to the expansive nature of RTD bus operations, a high level of personnel is needed to operate and support the service. Many of those staff members have not been able to get into their work facilities today due to poor road conditions.
"Access-a-Ride paratransit is operating only for critical health appointments like dialysis."
The Denver Police Department (DPD) has rescued 100 people from their cars, unstuck 50 vehicles and helped two dozen people experiencing homelessness, according to a tweet.
Denver International Airport (DIA) was aiming to reopen runways at 2 p.m. Monday. Delays and cancellations were expected through the afternoon as airlines get back up to speed on their flight operations, DIA said in a press release.
Pena Boulevard was passable but snow-packed and icy, according to DIA, which said travel on the road was discouraged. DIA recommended that people take the RTD A Line train to get to the airport, instead.
A couple more updates:
- The Colorado State Patrol said "Mr. Golden Sun" was helping to improve road conditions but that drivers shouldn't let their guard down. Exit ramps were still snow-packed in places and require more caution.
- Interstate 70 and several other roadways on the Eastern Plains were closed due to snow and stuck vehicles. CSP said they were working to help those who were stuck but that it was going to take awhile.
Lastly, a reminder that snow is beautiful:
Denver International Airport said runways will remain closed and no flights will arrive or depart through 2 p.m. Monday, as crews continue to clear snow from the storm.
The United States Postal Service warns that the storm has impacted mail delivery. Road closures and unsafe driving conditions have prevented many Post Offices from opening, and regular retail and delivery will resume when roads become safe and passable.
If USPS is unable to deliver to an address, the mail will be held at the Post Office. Customers can pick up their mail there and should bring a photo ID, USPS said.
RTD said all bus and rail service will remain suspended through the morning commute Monday. Access-a-Ride service was also suspended. The one exception was the A Line, which resumed service at 3:15 a.m. between Denver International Airport (DIA) and Union Station.
As of 4 a.m., FlightAware was reporting that DIA has 864 cancellations and 15 delays for Monday.
Aurora Police continue to help stranded drivers. The department reported 25-30 stranded vehicles earlier Sunday, and said efforts to help those stuck because of snow will continue into the night.
Approximately 29,000 customers are without electricity in Northern Colorado, according to Xcel Energy.
Colorado State Patrol is asking people to stay off the roads as plows continue to work on clearing streets.
The Colorado National Guard's snow response teams are using their Small Unit Support Vehicles to assist Larimer County with stranded drivers.
The Regional Transportation District (RTD) is suspending all bus and rail services at 7 p.m. Sunday "due to treacherous blizzard conditions and road closures throughout the metro area."
Service will resume when conditions improve, RTD said.
"Multiple buses stuck throughout the day and freezing rail equipment have made it difficult to provide service as conditions worsened," RTD said.
Aurora Police said 25-30 vehicles are stranded on E-470 in east Aurora.
Denver International Airport is advising people to avoid Pena Boulevard.
In a news release, the airport said it is "currently impassable" with multiple disabled vehicles along the road. People who absolutely must go to the airport should take the A Line instead.
In addition, DIA said all airlines are ceasing operations for the remainder of the day. Nevertheless, the airport's restaurants and other amenities will stay open to help employees and people stranded there.
While airlines haven't determined their plans for Monday, passengers are encouraged to check on their flight status.
Poor road conditions are continuing throughout Colorado. In Douglas County, conditions were so bad that crews had to rescue a Colorado Department of Transportation truck that got stuck in the snow.
In Northern Colorado, utilities warned of the possibility of extended power outages.
The Aurora Police Department's SWAT truck helped rescue drivers who became stranded on the dicey roads.
I-25 is closed in both directions from Plum Creek Parkway in Castle Rock to Interquest Parkway in Colorado Springs due to unsafe driving conditions.
All Larimer County government offices and courts will be closed Monday.
Larimer County emergency services said small avalanches along Highway 14 west of Rustic have forced a 50-mile closure of the highway.
The City of Denver said its snow plow drivers will remain on duty overnight into Monday as heavy snow and strong winds continue to limit visibility in the city.
The city's Emergency Operations Center is continuing to monitor the storm and its impacts. Denver is under a citywide crash alert status through Monday morning. In the event of an accident, parties should exchange information and file a report online at denvergov.org/police.
Call Denver Police if you are in a crash and:
- Someone is injured or injury is unknown
- City property, vehicles or personnel are involved
- A driver fails to provide proof of insurance or driver’s license
- The wreck is blocking streets
- An involved driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Colorado National Guard troops are preparing to help travelers stranded on the state's highways, which have become virtually impassable due to blizzard-like conditions that are expected to persist until midnight.
RTD, meanwhile, is warning of big delays on public transportation in and around Denver.
Here's the latest on the timing of the storm from the National Weather Service. Expect travel to be virtually impossible until tomorrow morning at the earliest.
The Red Cross has opened multiple warming shelters in Colorado. Click here for their locations.
Meanwhile, Denver Public Schools has declared a snow day for Monday. Remote learning could resume on Tuesday if the conditions don't allow for students to go to class in-person.
Interstate 70 is closed in both directions out of the Denver metro area: eastbound at Exit 244, which is Airpark Road, and westbound at Exit 259 in Golden.
Law-enforcement agencies across the Denver metro area are reporting stuck vehicles and low visibility, and are urging people to stay home.
The National Weather Service has declared a blizzard warning for the I-25 corridor through the Palmer Divide that's in effect until midnight.
The agency said to expect an addition 2-6 inches of snow with gusts up to 45 miles per hour.
DIA has closed all of the runways at the airport, but remains open for travelers and employees. The airport said crews will be on hand to clear the runways once conditions allow, but it shouldn't have a huge impact because most flights are canceled.
I-25 is closed between Castle Rock and Monument due to wintry conditions. There is no estimated time for reopening, and Colorado State Patrol (CSP) said there are no alternate routes since CO 83 and 105 are closed too.
Eastbound I-70 on Floyd Hill is closed due to multiple stuck vehicles. Colorado State Patrol said all vehicles are being diverted to use US 6 through Clear Creek Canyon or US 40.
Snow removal crews at Denver International Airport (DIA) are working to clean and treat runways after more than 11 inches of fresh snow had fallen there by Sunday morning.
DIA reports that 836 flights have been canceled and 57 have been delayed for Sunday due to the winter storm. Snow fall rates of one-inch to one and one-half-inch are predicted at DIA throughout the afternoon and evening, according to the airport.
The Aurora Police Department (APD) shared photos of near white-out conditions at South Chambers Road and East Yale Avenue. Roads and highways nearby are icy and APD encourages people not to drive if they don't have to.
Tamara Rollison with the Colorado Department of Transportation talks about road conditions and closures as more than 400 plows work around the clock to keep roads clear.
Snow is piling up in Boulder! Jordan Chavez is at Chautauqua Park, where visibility is low and the snow is coming down.
Cory Reppenhagen has a look at conditions in Estes Park, where more than a foot of snow has already fallen.
We're starting to get a look at initial snowfall totals from this winter storm. Expect several more inches as the snow continues to fall throughout the day Sunday.
Cpl. Ivan Alvarado talks about how CSP is handling the continuing storm throughout the state.
Denver's Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) shared an update on snow plow operations planned throughout the day. Crews will use large plows to address main streets and small plows will be deployed to residential streets.
Plow operators will make consecutive passes and drop deicing materials on main streets throughout the city as needed. DOTI asked that residents avoid driving if they don’t have to, given the challenging driving conditions.
DOTI shared these details about residential plows:
- They’ll take a single pass per 12-hour shift down each side street.
- They do not bring streets to bare pavement
- They do not carry deicing material
- They do help clear a path to the main streets and prevent deep ice ruts.
Alex Renteria with Denver International Airport talks about operations there on Sunday morning.
9NEWS reporter Matt Renoux has a look at slick conditions early Sunday on I-70 near Silverthorne.
9NEWS Meteorologist Kylie Bearse shares some snow totals reported in the northern Front Range.
All lanes of Highway 94 are closed in both directions between Space Village Ave and Highway 71 due to adverse weather conditions.
Highway 71 is closed in both directions between Highway 14 and the Nebraska border due to difficult road conditions.
Interstate 70 has reopened between C-470 and Silverthorne after being closed for several hours due to treacherous conditions.
Heavy snowfall is expected to return to the Front Range overnight after a lull.
This blog has been filled with bad news, so here's a break! 9NEWS Reporter Marc Sallinger met a guy in Erie who has a truck and is using it to help his neighbors.
Watch his story below.
Colorado State Patrol said I-70 is closed from Limon to Burlington due to blizzard conditions.
Another large power outage has hit the Cap Hill area of Denver. Xcel's outage map is showing the outage impacted nearly 3,000 customers. Power was restored just after 10 p.m., according to Xcel's site.
Denver International Airport sent out the following news release about how the storm is impacting their operations:
DEN’s snow team has been clearing roadways and runways since snow began accumulating on hard surfaces around 4 p.m. Currently five of six runways are open and operational, though there are very few remaining flight operations tonight.
At this time, there are nearly 1,300 flight cancellations tomorrow, Sunday, March 14. DEN’s three largest carriers, United, Southwest and Frontier, have cancelled the majority of flights tomorrow. Passengers with scheduled flights on Sunday or Monday morning are encouraged to confirm their flight status with their airline before heading to the airport and use caution on area roadways.
The big plows are out in Denver.
Nelson Garcia is near I-70 and C-470 in Golden, where crews have shut down the highway.
Up north, both I-25 and US 287 are closed in both directions north of Fort Collins to the Wyoming border.
There's no update on when the snow closures will be lifted.
I-25 is now closed in both directions between Wellington and the Wyoming border.
Speaking of Wyoming, I-80 is closed from Laramie to Rawlins.
Snow has started to stick to roads across the state, leading to travel warnings.
I-70 is closed in both directions between C-470 and Silverthorne due to declining conditions.
CSP is asking people to stay home if possible.
Traffic was held on eastbound I-70 at the bottom of Floyd Hill due to stuck vehicles. CSP warned that a closure of the highway could be imminent due to the conditions.
Not like anyone was doubting it (right?) but the snow is here.
CSP in Golden says there's "plenty of action" at their weather center, and shared photos of snowy roads.
These conditions have led to accident alerts in the western suburbs and foothills.
Here's an update on how the storm will impact Rocky Mountain National Park, courtesy a spokesperson:
"Due to worsening winter driving conditions, US 36 at the Beaver Meadows Entrance and US Highway 34 at the Fall River Entrance have closed at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
"Wild Basin Road. Longs Peak Trailhead Parking area, Moraine Park Campground, Beaver Meadows Visitor Center and Fall River Visitor Center remain closed this weekend.
"Park snowplow operators will begin plowing early tomorrow morning and road conditions and status will be assessed throughout the day.
"Because this storm is forecasted for more significant snow on the east side of the Continental Divide, the Kawuneeche Visitor Center and Trail Ridge Road on the west side of the park will remain open if conditions allow."
US 6 is closed between Golden and CO 119 due to a crash and vehicle recovery.
There's no estimated time for reopening, according to Colorado State Patrol.
The power outage in Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood has been resolved, according to the Xcel outage map.
There are reports of multiple crashes in Clear Creek Canyon on US 6 between Golden and Colo 119. Colorado State Patrol said there are also reports of several semis without chains stuck trying to make it eastbound up Floyd Hill between MM 244-246.
The increasing snow has begun to create treacherous conditions on I-70.
The chain law is in place for Mt. Vernon Canyon, as well as Georgetown to the Eisenhower Tunnel and down to Silverthorne.
The National Weather Service has released its latest hazards matrix for the storm.
It has the biggest impacts late Saturday headed into Sunday, with time to dig out on Monday morning.
Xcel Energy's outage map is showing a large outage in Denver's Cap Hill neighborhood. The outage is affecting around 3,000 customers, according to Xcel. The Xcel site said crews are on scene of the outage. They estimate power will be restored by 6 p.m. This a reminder that if traffic lights are out, they are to be treated as a four-way stop.
Due the the weather, the City of Boulder is now on accident alert, and drivers are asked to stay off the roads.
Multiple crashes have been reported on northbound I-25 between Castle Rock and Lone Tree, with some injuries reported.
Douglas County went on accident alert.
That means drivers involved in a crash may be able to file a report on line. The county usually calls for accident alert status during bad weather, when deputies can’t quickly respond to the high number of car crashes.
During an accident alert, file a report online if:
- The accident happened on a county road in unincorporated Douglas County
- No one was killed or hurt and needs medical attention
- No one is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs
- No public property was damaged (a road sign, utility pole, etc.) other than wildlife
- All vehicles and drivers involved are at the scene and you can exchange insurance information
- No one needs a tow truck (except to get a vehicle unstuck or change a tire.)
If all of the above is true during an "accident alert," complete an online accident report.
Due to the weather, Denver is now under a citywide crash alert reporting status through Monday morning. Denver Police said they recommend not travelling during the storm unless necessary.
11: 15 a.m.
Snow has officially begun falling across many parts of the metro area. It's expected to pick up intensity with the bulk of the snow from sundown Saturday into Sunday night.
FULL WEATHER FORECAST: Click here to read the full, detailed forecast
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