DENVER – Blowing snow shut down highways Tuesday on Colorado’s Eastern Plains, stranding truckers and other travelers at the edge of the Denver area.
A line of trucks and cars stretched about 3 miles along Interstate 70 at midday at the beginning of a road closure in suburban Aurora as strong winds blew relatively light snow across the highway, lowering visibility.
Eastbound I-70, the main east-west route across the state, was closed for nearly 185 miles to Goodland, Kansas. The interstate was reopened Tuesday afternoon.
Conditions were clearer to the west and traffic moved without problems toward Denver and the mountains beyond.
Manuel Gutierrez of Oklahoma City had been waiting for about two hours in his car with his wife and young daughter, who were huddled under a blanket in the passenger seat, after visiting relatives in the Denver area.
He said the weather radar showed conditions were worse on the wide open plains on his route home.
“We’re hoping to get out of here today but who knows at this point,” he said.
Elsewhere, a southbound stretch of Interstate 25, the main north-south highway in Colorado, was closed from Pueblo to the New Mexico border.
To the north, snow and strong winds caused hazardous travel conditions throughout much of Wyoming after the storm dumped snow across the state over the long holiday weekend.
A 100-mile section of Interstate 80 was closed Tuesday morning between the small cities of Rock Springs and Rawlins because of blowing snow.
In Colorado, snow and icy roads also shut down schools in some Denver suburbs and schools and military installations in and around Colorado Springs, including Fort Carson and the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Avalanche danger was elevated in Colorado mountains because of recent storms and strong winds. On Monday, a backcountry skier died in a slide near Aspen.
Associated Press photographer David Zalubowski contributed to this report.