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Live updates: Numerous road closures, slick roads a day after 'bomb cyclone'

elbert blizzard.jpg
Posted at 5:18 AM, Mar 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-14 23:38:51-04

This is the Denver7 breaking and developing weather news blog. Throughout the day, this story will be updated with both minor and large weather and traffic events that our readers care about. Check back as we continue to update this story. 

MORE: How do I get my stranded car? | Forecast | Traffic and road closures | Snow totals

9:13 p.m. — There's an urgent evacuation notice for the Old Edwards Estates neighborhood in Eagle County. A spokesperson for the Eagle County Sheriff's Office says about 55 homes have been evacuated as a precaution due to a gas leak that was caused by construction in the area.

8:20 p.m. Highway 86 is now open from Kiowa to I-70 in both directions, the Elbert County Office of Emergency Management says.

5:46 p.m. — Elbert County OEM officials say that those who left their vehicles on a closed county road will not be able to retrieve it Thursday. Officials said most abandoned vehicles they said will not bea ble to get on their own and will need to towed. Car owners will be responsible for contacting a towing company to pick up their abandoned vehicles.

4:44 p.m. — Highway 86 is now open from Castle Rock to Kiowa, but it is still closed from Kiowa to I-70, according to the Elbert County Office of Emergency Management. You are advised to use I-25 or I-225 as an alternate route to I-70.

4:04 p.m. — The National Weather Service in Boulder says that Wednesday's blizzard set two new records for Denver International Airport: highest non-thunderstorm wind gust and sea level pressure. An 80 mph wind gust beat the old record, set in April 2009, of 63 mph. And the 979.01 MB barometric pressure was the lowest ever recorded at the airport -- beating the old record of 979.9 MB set on Feb. 25, 1998.

3:45 p.m. — Roads in Elbert County will remain closed until at least Friday morning, the county's office of emergency management said.

"Please stay home or in safe shelter and DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DRIVE in Elbert County today," the office tweeted. "There is a high chance you may become stranded. STAY SAFE!"

We have a new story about the blizzard by the numbers here. We have a new story on highways reopening here.

3:21 p.m. — U.S. Highway 287 has reopened between Old State Highway 287 and the Wyoming border.

3:10 p.m. — Adams County is warning drivers to avoid 120th Ave. between Tower and Imboden. They say the roads will likely be impassible in places throughout Thursday night.

3 p.m. — Both directions of I-25 have reopened between Castle Rock and Monument after a closure of more than 24 hours because of a pileup and stranded cars. CSP says drivers should expect slow travel because of the amount of traffic.

2:48 p.m. — CDOT says that I-76 is now open from the Denver area to the Nebraska state line.

2:36 p.m. — Denver7's Jackie Crea reports some people are waiting more than two hours to check their bags at DIA and that some people are missing flights.

"As a result of the winter storm yesterday, we are experiencing longer than usual lines in our lobby as we work to recover operations at Denver and get customers safely to their destinations. We encourage customers to allow extra time and to check the status of their flight before they leave for the airport," United Airlines spokesperson Erin Benson said in a statement.

We are seeing some deep drifts in Aurora -- and quite the phenomenon tweeted by Broomfield police.

2:18 p.m. — Denver7's Meghan Lopez is still seeing dozens of stranded cars out in Elbert County, whose roads were shut down all day on Wednesday.

2:11 p.m. — CDOT said on an afternoon conference call that they expect to open southbound I-25 from Castle Rock to Monument within the next two hours. But CSP implored drivers not to go into the area because tow trucks and plows were still working in the area. I-25 has reopened from Wellington to the Wyoming state line.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office says crews were working to get people from their shelter to their cars.

"We have pretty much taken care of the cars on I-25, just waiting on the final safety sweep from CDOT," the office tweeted. "As soon as well [sic] get word that I25 is will be the first to know."

12:45 p.m. — Interstate 70 has reopened between Chambers Road in Aurora and the Kansas border. But CDOT says high winds and blowing snow should still be expected in the area. Highway 40/287 also has reopened east of Limon.

12:23 p.m. — Eastbound I-70 from Airpark to Kansas has reopened. CSP Limon is asking drivers to drive slowly.

11:52 a.m. — The Colorado National Guard has recsued 93 people from cars in the state, plus two dogs.

10:03 a.m. — CDOT is reporting that the northbound and southbound lanes of I-25 are closed between Woodmen Road/exit 149 and Highway 86/exit 184.I-25, Highway 83 and Highway 105 from Monument to Denver is expected to stay closed all Thursday.

9:45 a.m. — Several state parks are still closed Thursday.

9:36 a.m. — The city and county of Denver will open at 10 a.m., though a State of Emergency remains in effect. About 28,000 people in Denver are without power.

9:06 a.m. — The southbound lanes of I-25 at the I-225 exit are closed due to spin outs. The ramp to I-225 northbound is very icy, CDOT reports.

8:38 a.m. — Some good news for you! The first flight of the morning has officially left DIA. More flights are scheduled for today. Check your status with your airline.

8:27 a.m. — I-25 is still closed from Colorado Springs to Castle Rock. CSP in Colorado Springs says it will not open anytime soon.

8:15 a.m. — The Denver Police Department is offering for those without power to come to their District 3 (1625 S. University Boulevard) and District 1 (1311 W. 46th Ave.) stations to warm up.

8:13 a.m. — Seventy-five people and two dogs have been rescued from vehicles in Colorado, the National Guard said Thursday morning. The National Guard checked 148 vehicles.

7:50 a.m. — While runways are open at DIA, a spokesperson said no planes have arrived or departed from the airport this morning.

7 a.m. — The Douglas County Sheriff's Office Traffic Unit will start to bus the 700+ people who spent the night at shelters after being stranded in their vehicles yesterday back to their cars this morning.

6:46 a.m. — I-25 will reopen soon in both directions from RidgeGate to Castle Rock, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

6:16 a.m. — Douglas County Sheriff's Office said it plans to clear the 150 or more cars that are stuck, stranded or disabled on I-25. They will also work to move people from the shelters back to their cars. The highway will open after that.

6 a.m. — CDOT has reopened the southbound lanes of I-25 in El Paso County from the Monument Hill area to Colorado Springs. The northbound lanes are still closed from Woodmen Road to Castle Rock.

5:22 a.m. — If you're hoping to ride RTD today, be prepared for a longer commute. Roads are icy and snowpacked, which may slow down the trains. Power outages could also affect the service.

5:19 a.m. — Bob Wilson with CDOT said there isn't a timeframe to reopen I-25 from RidgeGate to Colorado Springs. They may know more after evaluating the roads in the daylight.

5:15 a.m. — The US National Guard reported Thursday morning that it had been working throughout the night to rescue motorists who were stranded in Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert, and El Paso Counties. They checked on 129 vehicles and rescued 36 people overnight. The people were transported them to shelters.

4:02 a.m. — Most of northeast Colorado remains closed including I-70/I-76, I-25 north to Wyoming and I-25 south Woodmen to Ridge Gate.

4 a.m. — Several government offices have confirmed they will open late today. Denver and Centennial offices will open at 10 a.m. For a full list, click here.

3:48 a.m. — Power is out for more than 86,000 customers along Front Range and Eastern Plains. The Xcel outage map shows 2,157 outages affecting 85,733.

12:30 a.m. — Four runways reopened at Denver International Airport and airport predicted that most airlines would resume operations around noon Thursday. There were 662 flights canceled at DIA on Thursday.