Archive for Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I-70 reopens after fatal snowstorm

October 12, 2005


— Crews worked to restore power to thousands of customers and dozens of schools remained closed Tuesday, a day after a storm blasted Colorado with up to 30 inches of snow.

But traffic was rolling across most of the state after 20 inches of blowing snow on the plains had closed much of Interstate 70 between Denver and the Kansas border.

"We thought we were in Siberia," said Robert Wade, 21, who took refuge in a Red Cross shelter after he drove off a highway in whiteout conditions Monday.

Xcel Energy said about 100,000 customers lost power throughout the storm. Spokesman Tom Henley said the company hoped to have electricity back on by Tuesday night for the remaining several thousand customers still in the dark.

Utility spokesman Mark Stutz said storm-weakened trees teetered into power lines long after the snow stopped falling, triggering blackouts.

"The storm doesn't seem to end for us when the storm ends," he said.

Some far-flung school districts on the plains stayed closed Tuesday because of concerns about the distances their students had to travel after the heavy snowfall.

"We got hammered," said Debbie McMillan, a secretary at Weld Central High School in Keenesburg, about 30 miles northeast of Denver.

A 73-year-old woman died after being struck by a falling tree limb while she swept snow outside her home Monday.

An unidentified man and a woman died after a van struck a guardrail along Interstate 76.


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