It’s only fitting that the last day of 2018 – which was one of the worst drought years in recorded history – ends on a snowy note.
Dennis Phillips, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, said the storm was playing out as predicted.
Snow started falling early Monday in Southwest Colorado. But Phillips said the heaviest snow should fall overnight Monday evening into Tuesday. Then, the snow should keep falling Tuesday as it begins to taper off.
“You’re just getting started down in the Southwest there this morning,” he said. “You’ve got a long haul.”
Phillips said predicted snow accumulations have remained consistent, with 5 to 10 inches in the lower elevations and valleys around Durango and up to 16 inches in the high country.
Travel is expected to be affected.
Commercial vehicles on Coal Bank, Molas, Red Mountain and Wolf Creek passes are required to have chains or alternative traction devices. Passenger vehicles are required to have snow or mud/snow tires, use chains/alternative traction devices or have a four-wheel/all-terrain vehicle.
Colorado State Patrol Capt. Adrian Driscoll said a semitrailer truck went off the road and rolled over Monday afternoon on U.S. Highway 550 near Bondad. He said about 100 gallons of diesel leaked on the road but the highway was not expected to close. The driver was not injured.
Chris Burke, spokesman for the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office, said there were multiple slide-offs and crashes Monday morning as a result of snowy conditions on the roads.
Near the 34000 block of U.S. Highway 160, near the Narrow Gauge Mobile Home Park east of Durango, a car slid off the road. There were no injuries.
On Junction Creek Road (County Road 204), a Subaru lost control and hit a snowplow. There were no injures in that crash, either, Burke said.
“The roads are icy and snow-packed,” he said.
Tony Vicari, director of the Durango-La Plata County Airport, said morning flights were able to leave Monday, but delays because of snow are expected.
“It’ll slow down operations throughout the day into tomorrow,” he said. “But so far we’ve had nothing significant.”