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Powerful spring blizzard forces closure of Denver airport for first time in a decade

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DENVER (AP) — Hundreds of travelers were stranded at Denver’s airport Wednesday as a powerful spring blizzard shut down the airport. The powerful storm swept through Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska and headed for the Midwest.

After lengthy delays earlier in the day, all flights were halted at midday Wednesday because of terrible visibility caused all the blowing snow.

The road leading to the airport was also impassable because of the blowing snow, so travelers were being asked to stay put until conditions improve.

Hundreds of people pulling suitcases and duffel bags were standing or lying around the terminals. There were long lines to get into bars, and the food courts are packed.

Denver’s airport reopened at about 7 p.m., after being closed for about seven hours.

Airport spokesman Heath Montgomery says two of the six runways are open, and the airport will be fully operational by Thursday morning. Crews also have plowed the road to and from the main terminal, allowing stranded passengers to escape into town.

But Montgomery says many airlines have canceled flights for the day.

 

 

Blowing snow has also shut down long stretches of Interstates 25, 80 and 70 in eastern Colorado and Wyoming and closed some schools there and in South Dakota.

Snow and freezing rain are expected to cause hazardous driving conditions in Michigan, where the storm could linger through Friday. The governor of Wisconsin has declared a state of emergency in advance of the approaching storm.

Many schools not on spring break, including those in Denver, were closed because of the storm.

Even politics is taking a snow day. Bernie Sanders and Bill Clinton both canceled planned campaign events in Wyoming.