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Strong Winds Make Driving Treacherous In High Country

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Jonathon Taylor's truck (credit: CBS)

Jonathon Taylor’s truck (credit: CBS)

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SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Strong winds made driving treacherous in the high country Saturday.

With every passing hour the snow was intensifying Saturday night. On some of the high mountain passes the weather became a major storm event.

Problems on the roads started even before they looked bad.

“You never plan on an accident happening, so it’s a surprise. But I could see with the roads starting to get slick I thought, ‘Maybe this is going to get worse,’ ” Jonathon Taylor said.

Taylor blamed bald tires for his rollover accident.

“I had tires that needed to be replaced and this snow was just starting to stick, getting a little slushy,” Taylor said. “Just too slippery and bad tires.”

“We get rapidly-changing conditions from minute to minute, hour to hour. It’s hard to predict where the roads are going to be bad,” a Colorado state trooper said.

By nightfall the snow began to pile up. The poor visibility made the storm hard to handle for drivers. As the temperature fell, the roads got worse. Chain laws were in effect all over the high country.

“We get prepared and stock up a lot of chains in our truck and wait for whatever is going to happen,” a trucker told CBS4.

The problems weren’t just falling from the sky, they were also coming from the ground. Heavy gusts of wind were causing what is called “ground blizzards,” which really hinders visibility.

Highway 287 had to be closed from the Colorado state line to Laramie, Wyo.

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