SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Wintery weather moved in across Colorado’s high country, and the inevitable happened at around 1:45 p.m. Eastbound lanes of Interstate 70 closed between Frisco and Silverthorne due to “multiple spin outs” and at least one crash.
Lanes were reopened shortly before 3 p.m., the Colorado Department of Transportation tells CBS4. However, they say that status could change as snow moves across the region.
As of 4:45 p.m., eastbound lanes were closed again and then later reopened at around 8 p.m.
Shortly afterward, westbound lanes were closed over Vail Pass.
CBS4’s Jamie Leary reports roads are in messy shape this afternoon.
While ski areas are finally getting enough snow to cover early-season hazards like rocks and stumps, visibility was an issue for riders and drivers on the roads.
Along the I-70 corridor, it created pockets of almost zero visibility. Snowplows were out in force trying to keep up, but CDOT officials ask everyone to be prepared.
One semi driver had to stay an extra night in Colorado to find chains ahead of the storm. He told Leary it’s his first month on the job, and he didn’t realize he could face a fine without them.
“I didn’t know that Sept. 1 that they made a law that you had to have them in the truck so once I saw the signs, I just had to park for a day to find a set…” he said. “I called like three or four different places and nobody had them around here and there’s no Loves or TA’s close.”
#I70 just closed EB at Silverthorne… sign says expect long delays. Working to figure out why. I know roads are really bad right now as is visibility. Stay safe out there if you’re traveling the mountain corridor! @ColoradoDOT @CBSDenver @SilverthorneCO pic.twitter.com/AdaAsMurOZ
— Jamie Leary (@JamieALeary) January 5, 2022
CBS4 Meteorologist Ashton Altieri forecast most ski areas will get 8 to 16 inches of total snowfall. He says there is a Winter Storm Warning until 12 p.m. on Thursday for the entire I-70 mountain corridor from Georgetown to Glenwood Springs.
The Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins areas will climb to about 40 degrees in the early afternoon before dropping about 30 degrees in 6 hours or less as cold air invades. Temperatures will be in the single digits in the Denver metro area by the end of the evening commute.