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Archive for Friday, March 21, 2003

Stranded travelers beginning to leave

March 21, 2003

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— Travelers who spent two nights on couches and floors began flying out of Denver's airport Thursday as Colorado dug out of its worst blizzard in 90 years.

"I was willing to go anywhere," said Terri Weger of Sumner, Ind., who waited in line for 4 1/2 hours at Denver International Airport before getting a ticket. Flights were limited because only two of the airport's five runways were open.

The storm that began Tuesday dropped up to 7 feet of snow over a swath of nearly 500 miles, affecting more than 3.5 million people. At least six people died in both Colorado and Wyoming.

One of the dead was a skier who died Thursday in an avalanche near Keystone while skiing with three others, the Summit County sheriff's office said.

Most interstates were reopened Thursday, but a 60-mile stretch of Interstate 70 west of Denver remained closed because of avalanche danger. Some area residents were asked to leave their homes as a precaution while transportation crews set off explosives to trigger slides and lessen the danger.

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