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I-70 Closed Near Empire Due To Police Activity, Weather Closes Other Stretches

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EMPIRE, Colo. (CBS4) – Westbound Interstate 70 had to be closed near the Empire exit due to police activity Friday evening, but the weather was also a factor for drivers in the high country.

Traffic was backed up all the way east past the Fall River exit. It wasn’t known how long the highway would be closed due to the police activity. There was apparently an officer-involved shooting but no other details were released.

Vail Pass and other areas were closed to drivers to on Friday due to avalanche control.

Snow on Friday in the high country was lighter but relentless and I-70 was scattered with the remnants of Thursday’s snow. Among those was Corey Morgan’s car.

“We were coming home and live in Evergreen and just lost control,” Morgan said.

A sheet of ice in several inches of snow and slush made his drive home treacherous and impossible.

“It was scary because I was out of control. That is to say I was trying to pull back over to the left into the interstate and the car wouldn’t respond except to just head off to the right,” Morgan said.

Colorado Department of Transportation trucks were busy clearing snow from the highways and snowplow drivers reaped in the business.

“We got a lot of snow the last couple of days, keeping everybody jumping,” plow driver Don Birge said. “I would say there is more than 30 inches in the passes.”

CDOT warned that more closures and delays are expected. It’s only a secondary worry for those that braved the poor road conditions to hit the slopes for the new powder.

“I have my skis in the back,” Birge said. “I have one more driveway to clear and then I’m going skiing.

With so much snow, that could only mean one thing for students in Summit County — another snow day. If parents couldn’t get the cars out of the driveway, that meant they sometimes put on their boots and walked.

“We’ve had snow day before, but never two consecutive snow days,” a student said. “I figured I might as well enjoy the four-day weekend.”

Eagle County schools were also closed Friday. Some say it was only the second snow day they could recall.

For a lot of high country residents, it’s the whole reason the live in the mountains.

“It’s what we’re all about up here I guess,” Birge said.

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