DENVER – Nearly 1,400 flights had been canceled at Denver International Airport as of 12:30 p.m. as a blizzard hit the airport, where between 7 and 11 inches of snow are expected and wind gusts of up to 80 miles per hour had already been seen by Wednesday morning.
Just before 12:30 p.m., the airport said that all six of its runways were closed. The six runways remained closed at 10:30 p.m. and a total of 1,385 flights were canceled. Most airlines canceled all their departing flights for the remainder of Wednesday.
Peña Blvd. was closed between the airport and 56th Ave. for a while, but reopened just before 7 p.m. The airport urged people not to drive to the airport and to use the RTD A Line instead.
A Line trains are running on delays of between 45 and 60 minutes and are scheduled to department every 30 minutes. Train will leave Union Station at :15 and :45 minutes on each hour and will be leaving DIA at :27 and :57 past each hour.
DIA saw a wind gust of 80 mph at 11:44 a.m., according to the National Weather Service – wind speeds equivalent to a Category 1 hurricane. There was a 92-mile-per-hour gust reported four miles south of Glen Haven.
DIA has more than 200 pieces of snow equipment working to clear the runways and Pena Blvd.
“Safety is the number one priority of our entire airport community here at DEN. At this time, conditions have deteriorated and our major three carriers have all proactively cancelled their afternoon and early evening flights, and our airfield is closed. When visibility improves, crews will work quickly to re-open runways,” said DEN CEO Kim Day. “The DEN team is working hard to ensure the comfort of passengers inside the airport. Most concessions are open and airport staff is available to address passenger needs.”
As of midnight four runways had reopened and the airport was predicting most airlines would resume operations by noon Thursday. There were 662 flights canceled for Thursday.
For developing weather and traffic news from the “bomb cyclone” blizzard throughout the day, click here.