DENVER (CBS4) – Officials with the Colorado Department of Transportation and at Denver International Airport say they are ready for the couple of inches of snow that are projected to fall on Christmas Eve and Christmas.
Denver metro area CDOT crews will be on full shifts by 5 p.m., and there will be about 70 plows keeping the highways clear until about lunchtime on Christmas Day.
CDOT warns drivers to expect snowpacked and icy conditions and to leave some extra time to get where you’re going.
DIA is expecting that most of the 120,000 passengers who are expected to pass through the airport on Christmas Eve will get out before the storm arrives. Officials said they are “not expecting significant delays or cancellations.”
They shared the following details about their snow plan on Monday morning:
“Snow removal crews are ready and will be working to plow and treat Peña Boulevard, roadways and the airfield as needed. DIA has more than 250 pieces of snow removal equipment and approximately 500 trained snow removal personnel. … We expect the airlines to be in full deicing operations when the storm arrives. This means that passengers may be on the plane a little longer before take-off, but that they should continue to plan on being at the gate when their boarding pass states.”
CDOT shared the following winter weather driving tips:
Not passing plow trucks on the right. Also, a plow blade may be extended, making it unsafe. Drive slowly and let the plow clear the road for you.
Always keeping the top half of your gas tank full. It can give you better traction and gives you a bigger margin of error if you get stuck and have to keep the engine running periodically to keep warm.
If you are stuck in a serious storm, do not leave your car. Run the engine periodically and wait for help. Make sure the tailpipe is clear of snow and ice.
Carrying blankets, water, a flashlight, a shovel, some nutrition bars or other food for sustenance. Winterize your vehicle’s safety kit by including extra blankets, sand to help gain traction in the event you become stuck on ice or snow, jumper cables, an ice scraper and lock de-icer.
Remembering 4-wheel drive does not mean 4-wheel stop. A 4-wheel drive vehicle will not stop any better in icy conditions, especially if you have inadequate snow tires.
Being sure of your route. Don’t go exploring in the back-country without some local knowledge, especially during a storm or when one is bearing down anywhere near your location.
Being sure you have good tires. The Colorado State Patrol recommends at least 1/8 of an inch tread depth. Chain restrictions in Colorado are most often put into effect for commercial vehicles (semi-trailer trucks) and do not usually affect passenger vehicles.
When visibility is poor or there are whiteout conditions, not driving faster than conditions allow. High speeds can lead to chain reaction accidents. Also remember you can’t see around mountain curves and corners either.
Conducting a pre-trip vehicle inspection, leaving extra space between your automobile and others on the road, and never drinking and driving. And, of course, always buckling up!