The Latest: Snowplow slips in Colorado during strong storm

AP News
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Posted: Dec 15, 2015 5:32 PM
The Latest: Snowplow slips in Colorado during strong storm

LONGMONT, Colo. (AP) — The latest on snow and cold weather in the West (all times local):

3:20 p.m.

Transportation officials say a snowplow slipped off a highway in the Colorado foothills and landed upside down in a creek amid a powerful wintry storm Tuesday, but the driver wasn't hurt.

The accident happened at about 4:30 a.m. in Boulder Canyon just west of Boulder, said Amy Ford, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation. Nothing spilled from the truck into the creek, she said.

The cause of the accident was under investigation.

Up to 24 inches of snow fell in parts of the mountains, 18 inches in the foothills and four to eight inches on the eastern Colorado plains before the storm began to move into Nebraska, the National Weather Service said.

About 425 flights have been canceled at Denver International Airport, and delays are averaging about four hours, the airport said.

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1:05 p.m.

A major Western snowstorm has tangled air and highway travel in Colorado.

Denver International Airport says about 300 flights have been canceled after 7 inches of snow fell, and other flights have been delayed an average of more than three hours.

About 600 miles of Interstate highways were snowpacked and icy, and chains or snow tires were required for many mountain roads.

Multiple accidents were reported during the morning commute.

Much of the state was under a winter storm warning, with 12 to 20 inches of snow forecast in some areas and wind gusts expected to reach up to 45 mph, making travel hazardous.

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11:30 a.m.

Utah's first big winter storm of the season left behind about a foot of snow in most parts of the Salt Lake City area and as much as two feet in some higher spots.

Utah Highway Patrol worked more than 400 accidents over the last two days as people struggled to get to work and school on icy, snow-packed roads.

National Weather Service lead forecaster Pete Wilensky says the worst of the storm has passed. Snow is expected in the mountains in central Utah, but the storm is winding down in northern Utah.

National Weather Service figures show Bountiful led the way for snow accumulation in the Salt Lake Valley, totaling 28 inches.

More than 9 inches accumulated at the Salt Lake City International Airport, surpassing the total for all last winter.

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10:20 a.m.

A wintry blast that dropped a foot of snow in parts of Wyoming and Montana has closed schools and roads.

Kids in Billings, Montana, the state's largest city, are among those getting the day off from school. It's the first snow day there in more than 25 years.

Dozens of vehicle crashes have been reported in Montana because of iced-over roads, including a fatal rollover accident in Yellowstone County. In Wyoming, parts of Interstate 25 around Casper are closed, along with sections of Interstate 80.

Travel is a lot more fun in Yellowstone National Park, where all the recent snow has allowed the park to start welcoming snowmobile and tank-like snowcoach traffic.

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7:45 a.m.

The biggest winter storm to hit the Denver area so far this season is making the morning commute a mess, causing many spinouts and crashes in the slippery snow and delaying flights by an average of about an hour and a-half at Denver International Airport.

About 5 inches of snow are expected at the airport by the end of Tuesday but some areas could get up to 10 inches through the afternoon, when the storm will move into Nebraska and South Dakota.

Kids at schools in Denver and Colorado Springs and surrounding areas are getting a snow day. Many schools in South Dakota, including those in Rapid City, are shut down in anticipation of the approaching storm.