Winter storm closes highways, government offices, schools

Hugh Fox
March 15, 2019

Blizzard warnings have been issued in all four states and the National Weather Service has warned drivers of "impossible travel conditions".

On Wednesday, 100 vehicles were involved in an accident on Interstate 25 near Wellington, Colorado, according to Wellington Fire Protection. Some 85,000 people, mostly in the Denver area, were still without electricity Thursday. The storm was expected to drop up to 22 inches (56 centimeters) of snow in Wyoming, 14 inches (36 centimeters) in South Dakota and a foot (31 centimeters) in Colorado.

Highways were also closed in the Nebraska Panhandle, South Dakota and near the Wyoming border on Thursday due to the storm.

A general view of the blizzard in Greeley Colorado

How do I get my stranded auto?

Heavy rain caused flooding in eastern parts of both states, as well as in Iowa.

The NWS said while the storm will gradually weaken over the next few days, strong winds will continue before "a taste of spring temperatures" will be felt sometime Friday. We saw the west to east differences that we were forecasting.

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The winds toppled high profile vehicles in Texas and, in Logan, N.M., blew 26 rail cars off a bridge.

A wind gust of 92 miles per hour was recorded in the mountains northwest of Denver. There were no immediate reports of injuries. Citizens in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma are predicted to see winds from 50 to 70 miles per hour. "However, in this situation, anticipated storm impacts including heavy snow and sustained wind gusts will take place at the time when school would release". The southern part of the state as well as the Western Slope are now under winter storm warnings, as meteorologists predict that the storm will result in unsafe conditions. "Please stop by the customer service booths on Concourses A, B or at baggage claim 9 in the terminal and pick up a blanket", the airport tweet Wednesday evening.

Blizzard warnings are in effect from northeast Colorado to northwest Minnesota, The Weather Channel reported.

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As of Wednesday morning, there have been over 1,200 flights canceled in the United States, according to FlightAware, with the majority stemming from the Denver International Airport.

Multiple Colorado school districts were closed Wednesday, including Denver Public Schools, which cited "severe storm, power outages across the city and poor road conditions". The southern plains and lower Mississippi Valley are next to be impacted by "Heavy rains ... isolated flooding and severe weather will accompany these thunderstorms as they march fairly quickly eastward", the weather service said. Not for heavy snow but rather gusty wind, low visibility, and blowing snow. Cara Jamison and her neighbors had to leave their homes in Fremont, Nebraska, after water and ice chunks from a flooding Platte River blocked their street.

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