The Latest: Blizzard causes whiteout conditions in Colorado - InfoNews

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The Latest: Blizzard causes whiteout conditions in Colorado

April 10, 2019 - 5:59 PM

DENVER - The Latest on the spring blizzard and snowstorm in the Rockies (all times local):

6:55 p.m.

Forecasters say a powerful, spring storm that smacked Colorado's Front Range just before Wednesday's evening rush hour is bringing heavy snow, whiteout conditions and wind gusts of up to 45 mph (72 kph) to the eastern plains.

The National Weather Service warned of near zero visibility in areas northeast of Denver to the Nebraska state line, and the Colorado Department of Transportation has closed a 150-mile (241-kilometre) stretch of Interstate 76 on the eastern plains because of blowing snow.

Blizzard warnings have been issued for the northern half of Colorado's heavily populated Front Range region, including Denver, as well as the state's northeastern plains through midday Thursday. Blizzard warnings also were posted for southeastern Wyoming, including Cheyenne, from Wednesday into Thursday.

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4:40 p.m.

Transportation officials have closed a 150-mile (241-kilometre) stretch of interstate from just northeast of Denver to the Nebraska state line because of blowing snow.

The Colorado Department of Transportation closed Interstate 76 on the eastern plains as the National Weather Service warned that some areas in the northeastern part of the state could get an inch (2.5 centimetres) of snow per hour Wednesday evening.

Blizzard warnings have been issued for the northern half of Colorado's heavily populated Front Range region, including Denver, as well as the state's northeastern plains through midday Thursday. Blizzard warnings also were posted for southeastern Wyoming, including Cheyenne, from Wednesday into Thursday.

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3:10 p.m.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has activated the National Guard in case it's needed to rescue stranded motorists amid warnings of a major blizzard.

The Guard said Wednesday that 50 soldiers and 24 vehicles will be positioned from Longmont to Colorado Springs. They include Small Unit Support Vehicles with tank-like tracks for negotiating deep snow.

During a March blizzard, the Guard rescued 75 people and two dogs stranded in cars, mostly in four counties southeast of Denver.

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12:30 p.m.

Nearly a month after a blizzard paralyzed parts of Colorado and Wyoming and stranded drivers, people are being urged to get home early and stay there.

Snow mixed with strong winds is expected to make travel difficult to impossible Wednesday afternoon.

The Colorado Department of Transportation warned that highways closures were probable and that the Denver area and Colorado's Eastern Plains would be the hardest hit by the storm.

Many school districts held half-days because of the storm. Local governments, including in Denver and Cheyenne, Wyoming, and state government in the Denver area announced they would close their offices early to give workers time to commute before conditions deteriorated.

About half of the daily flights at Denver International Airport were cancelled.

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11:23 a.m.

Schools and local government offices are closing in Cheyenne and in other areas of Wyoming because of the snowstorm and expected blizzard.

Laramie County Community College called off classes at 11 a.m. Wednesday because of the storm. Public schools were cancelled for the day in Gillette, where the storm hit earlier Wednesday, and classes were cut short in Cheyenne where the storm was expected to ramp up during the afternoon.

Early snowfall reports Wednesday included around 5 inches (12.7 centimetres) in the Gillette area in northeast Wyoming and at Evanston in the southwest corner of the state.

Major highways were still open across the state although no travel was advised on some highways in northern Wyoming.

The storm was bringing snow to an area stretching from Colorado and into Montana.

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9:30 a.m.

Flights and baseball are being cancelled ahead of a looming spring blizzard in the Rockies.

About 40 per cent of Denver International Airport's daily flights were scratched Wednesday, most of them in the afternoon when rain is expected to turn into snow.

The Colorado Rockies were supposed to play the Atlanta Braves at about that time but announced they were postponing the game until August.

Blizzard warnings have been issued for the northern half of Colorado's heavily populated Front Range region, including Denver, as well as the state's northeastern plains from noon through midday Thursday. Blizzard warnings were also posted for southeastern Wyoming, including Cheyenne, from Wednesday into Thursday.

A few school districts cancelled classes in Colorado and Wyoming but many decided to have a shortened day and cancel evening activities instead.

News from © The Associated Press, 2019
The Associated Press

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