Accidents and poor road conditions caused by heavy snow and high winds on Saturday led to several closures along Interstate 70 through central Colorado, the main thoroughfare to some of the state’s biggest ski resorts.
The Colorado Highway Patrol says a 20-vehicle pileup, including a jackknifed semi-trailer closed the eastbound lanes near Frisco at about 1 p.m. Saturday. Minor injuries were reported.
The Colorado Department of Transportation closed the eastbound lanes of I-70 near Vail Pass due to hazardous road conditions. Major crashes were reported west of Silverthorne and east of Frisco.
At 4:30 p.m, CDOT reported that eastbound I-70 at Silverthorne was closed due to 15 “spun out vehicles at mile point 211.”
Several shelters were also opened for stranded motorists on Saturday evening.
At about 6 p.m., a trooper reported on Twitter that there were so many cars stuck on eastbound I-70 in Summit County that plows were unable to get through to clear the road.
Shortly before 7 p.m., after hours of partial closures, eastbound I-70 was completely reopened.
A winter storm warning was in effect for the area through 5 a.m. Sunday. The National Weather Service forecast up to 16 inches (41 centimeters) of snow with wind gusts up to 50 mph (80 kph), causing bitter cold wind chills and whiteout conditions.
The Gazette contributed to this report.
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