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Colorado Snowstorm Forces Flight Cancelations, Interstate Closures

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An image from the crash on Interstate 25 near Johnson's Corner (credit: Wayne Stafford)

An image from the crash on Interstate 25 near Johnson’s Corner (credit: Wayne Stafford)

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DENVER (AP) – A powerful snowstorm moving east through Colorado on Saturday forced the cancelation of more than 100 flights at Denver International Airport and led transportation officials to close several highways because of blowing snow and multiple accidents.

The National Weather Service said up to 7 inches of snow could fall in Denver on Saturday, and higher accumulations were expected on the eastern plains. The forecast called for more snow Sunday and Monday, though in lesser amounts.

The Colorado Department of Transportation closed Interstate 70 from just east of Denver to Kansas because of blizzard conditions, and the northbound lanes of Interstate 25 also were closed south of Fort Collins because of multiple accidents.

Colorado State Patrol troopers were on the scene of a crash near Johnstown involving a tractor-trailer that burst into flames. An estimated 20 to 50 vehicles, including four tractor-trailers, have crashed or slid off the roadway in the area.

The patrol said several people were hospitalized, but no fatalities have been reported. The conditions of those who were hospitalized have not been released.

Crews with the state transportation department were using 73 snowplows to clear major roads in Denver and about 250 more along the rest of the Front Range. Another 30 plows are clearing Interstate 70 from Denver to Vail.

Meanwhile, DIA spokesman Heath Montgomery said about 106 flights have been canceled, many of which involved commuter jets headed to nearby destinations or to mountain towns. The airport averages about 1,700 flights a day, with slightly fewer on the weekend.

Montgomery said some flights have reported delays of almost three hours.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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