DENVER — Heavy snow in the mountains was already causing travel issues along Interstate 70 on Thursday, and the problems likely won't end until the weekend as snow continues to fall Friday. As much as three feet of new snow could accumulate in some areas of the high country through Friday, and wind gusts of up to 60 mph will cause blowing snow and visibility issues through the higher passes.
Loveland Pass and Vail Pass shut down Thursday afternoon after multiple wrecks — expect more closures like this until the snow lets up later in the day Friday. The National Weather Service in Boulder described expected travel conditions as "difficult to impossible" as the heavy snow and wind will likely cause a whiteout on the roads.
A Strong Winter Storm will bring heavy snow, very strong winds & white-out conditions in the mountains tonight thru Friday. Travel will be difficult to impossible at times. For the Plains, snow will begin this evening & persist thru the day Friday w/a slow morning commute. #COwx pic.twitter.com/DOk6pqStdD
— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) February 6, 2020
If the weather conditions weren't enough, I-70 was already scheduled to be shut down at Vail Pass on Friday morning for avalanche mitigation. The closure begins at 7 a.m. and should last 1-4 hours.
Here in Denver, the light snow between Thursday evening and through Friday will bring about 4 inches of snow.
Here are the latest updates as the snow continues across the state:
The westbound lanes of I-70 have reopened at the Georgetown exit following a four-hour closure, CDOT says.
CDOT says plows are ready to go at Silverthorne eastbound and Georgetown westbound as they await the clearing of stranded vehicles and trucks. They expect the closure of the I-70 mountain corridor to last until midnight, however, "there is no guarantee the highway will remain open."
The City of Boulder is on accident alert as of 10:15 p.m., officials say.
Blowing snow, low visibility and snowfall persists in the high country. CDOT says the following closures remain in place as of 10 p.m.:
10 PM UPDATE- I-70 MOUNTAIN CORRIDOR:— CDOT (@ColoradoDOT) February 7, 2020
Blowing snow, low visibility, and snowfall persists. Expect icy road conditions. Closure points remain in place:
-Eastbound I-70 at 176 and 180 Vail Pass
-Eastbound I-70 at Silverthorne (Exit 205)
-Westbound I-70 at Georgetown (228)
Denver Police says the central and southern areas of the city are on accident alert, meaning drivers are encouraged to not call police if they're involved in a non-injury, minor crash. Officers ask that you drive safely as the snowstorm moves through the area.
Denver Public Schools says they will wait until 4 a.m. Friday to decide whether the district will implement a snow day given “the fast-changing weather conditions.”
With the fast-changing weather conditions, we want to take some more time to see how storm conditions progress before making a decision on Friday’s school day. We will look at weather and road conditions at 4 a.m. and make the decision shortly thereafter about the school day.— Denver Public Schools (@DPSNewsNow) February 7, 2020
Denver International Airport reports 360 flight delays as of 9:30 p.m., as well as 28 cancellations. They ask that travelers check their flight status with their airline first thing in the morning if they're planning to travel.
Littleton police say a weather-related, single-vehicle rollover at W. Belleview and S. Huron resulted in no injuries.
The City of Aurora is on accident alert due to wintry weather conditions. Unless your incident has injuries, is a hit-and-run, the driver is under the influence, the vehicle is undriveable or one of the drivers does not have insurance, police will not be able to respond to your call.
CO 69 is closed in both directions between County Road 544 and County Road 550 due to a crash in the area, CDOT says.
The westbound lanes of I-70 were closed at the Georgetown exit due to adverse weather conditions. There was no estimated time for the reopening of the highway.
CSP Golden officials say the westbound lanes of I-70 are closed at US 40/Empire Junction due to weather. Drivers have the option of turning around and heading back to Denver or taking US 40 over Berthoud Psas into northwest Colorado.
I-70 was re-opened later Thursday afternoon at Vail Pass, but "conditions are deteriorating," according to CSP Eagle.
— CSP Eagle (@CSP_Eagle) February 6, 2020
US 6 is closed in both directions at Loveland Pass due to adverse weather conditions, per the Colorado Department of Transportataion. There is no estimated time for the reopening of the highway.
The Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure said their plow drivers will be out tonight "to address the main streets as needed" as the storm heads for Denver.
Eastbound I-70 was shut down at Vail Pass and the Eisenhower Tunnel after multiple spinouts, according to the Colorado State Patrol. And as of 3:30 p.m., there was no estimated time for when the highway would be re-opened.
— CSP Eagle (@CSP_Eagle) February 6, 2020
Westbound I-70 was shut down in Georgetown, according to Colorado Department of Transportation.
I-70 WB: Safety closure at Exit 228 - Georgetown. No estimated time to open. https://t.co/sMduwdkT5F
— CDOT (@ColoradoDOT) February 6, 2020
The travel issues weren't limited to the I-70 corridor. Further south, heavy snow had turned Monarch Pass into a blanket of white, according to an update from the CSP office there.
Current conditions on Monarch Pass. pic.twitter.com/3rVGO1ZLEP
— CSP Florence (@CSP_Florence) February 6, 2020
This is a breaking news story. Check back for live updates.