Skip to comments.2,000 Stranded Amid Colorado Avalanche Threat (125 miles of I-70 closed, shelters opened)
Posted on 12/31/2007 4:26:49 PM PST by Libloather
2,000 Stranded Amid Colo. Avalanche Threat
Motorists Warned Stay Away From I-70; 9 Shelters Opened
UPDATED: 10:04 am PST December 31, 2007
DENVER -- The threat of avalanches is keeping more than 2,000 travelers stranded at Red Cross shelters in Colorado.
That threat is the reason more than 60 miles of Interstate 70 is closed west of Denver, and it isn't clear when the busy highway will reopen. Officials were forced to close the highway overnight because of the heavy winds and snow.
The closures started around 6 p.m. Sunday and extended about 125 miles. CDOT asked motorists to avoid the highway and wait until later Monday to travel.
"I-70, Loveland Pass and Berthoud Pass will all remain closed until CDOT crews conduct avalanche mitigation activities," said CDOT spokeswoman Mindy Crane. "I-70 is CDOT's first priority and crews will focus their efforts along the corridor until it reopens. At this time, it is unknown when the highways will reopen as it depends on the amount of snow that comes down during the mitigation activities. Currently, the I-70 corridor is still receiving snow and the winds are still fairly high."
Road conditions are improved Monday, but deep snow has drifted into more than two dozen narrow ravines in the mountainsides. That has raised the danger of potentially deadly snow slides cascading onto the highway.
Officials said specialized crews are trying to bring the snow down by detonating low-power explosives.
The American Red Cross has opened nine shelters along the highway. The Red Cross provided cots, blankets and food to stranded travelers at the shelters.
"(Summit County) sheltered more in this storm then the entire region did in the blizzard of 2006," said Red Cross spokeswoman Melinda Epp.
The closures left no alternative for skiers headed home from resorts in Vail, Copper Mountain, A-Basin, Loveland and Keystone.
P.J. Bailey, 24, left Breckenridge, Colo., to head home to Denver around 1 p.m. Sunday, which is about an 80-mile drive. But nearly four hours later, she was at Georgetown, Colo. -- less than halfway to Denver.
"I was told it would get better, but a mile east of Georgetown, there were whiteout conditions. You couldn't even see the front of your car," she said. She pulled onto a shoulder for about 15 minutes but finally decided to head back to Georgetown for the night after watching ambulances drive past.
She was searching for a hotel room Sunday evening. The Super 8 Motel was already sold out.
"You should see this town. There's people stopped everywhere," she said.
Hunter Miller left his home in Grand Junction around 10:15 a.m. with tickets for a Denver Nuggets game Sunday night, but got caught in stop-and-go ski traffic and snow around Vail Pass. It took about five hours to go the 52 miles between Vail and Georgetown, he said.
He and his wife decided to spend the night in Georgetown.
"The weather was so bad, and I'd been in the car so long," said Miller, 25. "I didn't want to drive anymore. I didn't want to risk it."
Looks like we’ve got a bit of a snowstorm moving into southern Mi. tonight. Don’t think we have to worry about an avalanche though.
I’ll be glad to send ya some of this “global warming” I have been shoveling lately.
Any weather, any temperature, any amount of precipitation or lack of is due to “global warming”...
Yep, it’s that darn global warming again.
happy new year is right!
We can’t stand much more globle warming,,, help us st. algore, you di-khead!!!
Ill be glad to send ya some of this global warming I have been shoveling lately.”
The forecasters here in Reno are predicting 5’ to 10’ of global warming in the Sierra’s with this incoming storm in 3 days.
Yeah that is why it is now called “climate change...”
I live in Phoenix and have had to scrape ice off my windshield 8 of the last 10 days I have worked...
Not to mention it’s been over 15 years since we set our record of 122 degrees here.
I’m please to report my brother successfully got out of Breckenridge today thru the back door. Hoosier pass is still open. A nasty drive but he made it.
61 degrees and sunny here on the right coast. Squeezed in 18 holes. (I'm a HUGE global warming fan!) Tomorrow through March? Fegitaboudit.
It seem to me, back in the late 70’s, a rock and roll group wrote a song while stuck on Vail Pass called “Ridding The Storm Out”. That may have been before your time.
We were just coming out of global cooling scam, “New ICE AGE”.
Here at 8600 ft elevation in the Colorado front range mounttains it is currently showing 3.9 degrees F on my electronic thermometer and the wind is blowing up to 60mph causing blowing snow white-outs. The wood burning stove is roaring and spewing C02 to try to fix this cold weather. I think I printed out way too many carbon credits on my printer!
Where do you live? Is there a town at that elevation?
If there is one thing you can count on in Pennsylvania in the winter time. PADot on the job!
Never had to worry about an avalanche living in the flat plains of the Saginaw Valley -- like, where is it going to avalanche from?
Maybe we can talk algore into flying his jet around the world to heat this place up??
Pray for W and Our Troops
I remember REO Speedwagon well.
My daughter and her family’s flight from Colorado to Atlanta — allowed them to get home to their home in Alpharetta about 9:30pm Atlanta time.
So now - everyone in my family is safe and accounted for....inside the perimeter..
Hope the same for you and yours....
Again — Happy New Year brother.
I took my kids up in my new truck a few years ago to go sledding. Passing the cannons mounted by the road I told them how they use those to shoot the avalanches. A mile down the road after my 5-year old daughter had pondered it for awhile asked me “Dad - will they shoot OUR Avalanche?”
That is precious.
No incorporated towns, but near Pinecliffe which is not incorporated. About 12 miles into the mountains and NW of Golden. Via satellite internet! The highest incorporated town in Colorado is Leadville at about 10,000 ft elevation. It is now 3.4 degrees F outside in our Colorado global warming climate as I type this!
Good Deal RR !
Happy new Year !!!
A friend called last night to wish us Happy New Year and to say she was snowed in, in Vail. Even Houston is supposed to get a hard freeze tonight. I love winter!
I think we hit 62 for a high yesterday...
and I am not a golfer but they play pretty much year round here, and I think prices are double now of what they are mid summer when it is 110+.
~~Anthropogenic Global Warming ping~~
I don't mind it so much on weekends or holidays, when you can dig out in a leisurely manner. I hate the mad rush to get everything clear by 7am, though.
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