Snow, Slick Roads Greet Monday Morning Motorists

The drive to work across the Denver metro area was slow-going Monday as heavy snow and slick roads held up traffic.

"Horrible," said Russel Smith who has lived and worked in Denver his entire life. "This was the worst drive yet. And it was made even worse because we weren't prepared based on the information given by forecasters," said Smith.

Cars slipped and slid off the sides roads. Police shut down traffic on eastbound Colfax Avenue near the state Capitol Monday morning after a Regional Transportation District bus got stuck in the snow.

"It was awful," said Melanie Hood who slid into a concrete wall at Kipling and I-70. "The tires just locked on the ice and I slammed into the wall. I'm beyond frustrated that the news did not notify us through weather forecasts that there would be this much snow and ice," said Hood.

Snowfall amounts ranged from 5 inches to 8 inches in the west-Denver suburbs and Boulder and from 2 inches to 5 inches in Denver.

"It was ugly," said Patty Gonwa about her commute. "I was not prepared based on the forecast. They said it wouldn't hit until mid-morning. And then, it wasn't supposed to get bad, maybe one to two inches. And this is, well, more than one to two inches," said Gonwa. "They were dead wrong."

State plows were on the roads by 5 a.m., said stacy Stegman of the Colorado Department of Transportation. There were 90 plows on the streets in the Denver area by midmorning, she said.

"We knew we were getting a storm. But, this much snow this quickly was a bit of a surprise," said Stegman. "This is one that just was really disastrous." The storm hit right as rush hour traffic hit. "Our plows were stuck. They were sitting in traffic with everyone else," said Stegman.

State Trooper Ryan Sullivan said all the counties in the metro area were on accident alert but no major traffic accidents or injuries were reported. A fatal accident occurred just before 6 a.m. in Weld County off U.S. 34, but Sullivan said it was unclear if the weather was a factor. No other details were released.

Snow began tapering off by late morning and the National Weather Service canceled a winter weather advisory for the metro area and the foothills west of Denver. An advisory for the north and central mountains was issued through 5 p.m.

A high wind warning was in place for much of eastern Colorado through 7 p.m. Forecasters said winds up to 45 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph, could cause blowing snow and reduce visibility.

"It was scary," said a number of motorists on Monday afternoon.

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