Friday, December 29, 2006

Blizzard Blog 2006 pt 7

Apparently the Associated Press was a little bit excited about this storm, but so far it is not too bad in in the Northern part of the state. There was about eight inches of fluffy powder to shovel out from in front of my garage, but by the time I finished, the plow had already made it through the parking lot a couple times, so it was smooth sailing from there.

The second wave of this storm is supposed to slide in early this afternoon and last through the night, so we'll see what happens with that one when it happens.

And now, the AP article, um, borrowed from a newspaper. (The first paragraph sounds a little porno-esque... or maybe that's just me.)

Second Blizzard Hits Colorado,
Threatens to Close Denver Airport

Associated Press
December 29, 2006 9:05 a.m.

DENVER -- The second major snow storm in a week pounded Colorado Friday, burying the foothills under another two feet of snow, shutting down highways and forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights at the Denver airport.

The storm stretched across the Rocky Mountains into the western Plains, where the National Weather Service warned that the gusting wind could whip up blinding whiteouts.

Colorado Gov. Bill Owens again declared a statewide disaster, putting the National Guard on standby as areas west of Denver got 28 inches of snow Thursday and early Friday. In the city, about 16 inches had fallen by morning. Interstate 25, the main north-south highway through the state, was closed about 60 miles north of Denver.

While last week's blizzard dumped nearly two feet of snow in about 24 hours, making it impossible for airport and highway plows to keep up, snow from the new storm was expected to stretch over about three days.

United Airlines and Frontier Airlines, the largest carriers at Denver International Airport, both canceled 322 flights through Friday morning, but were hopeful that they could soon get back on schedule.

"Right now, we're planning to operate a full schedule starting at noon," United spokeswoman Robin Urbanski said early Friday.

Greyhound canceled all trips out of Denver Friday and more cancellations could follow this weekend.

The metro area's light rail trains, buses and public transit planned to run on their regular schedules, though. Maintenance crews covered Denver streets with deicer, but offices still closed early Thursday and residents stocked up on groceries.

With memories fresh of the 4,700 stranded holiday travelers and backed up flights around the country last week, New Year's travelers jammed the airport Thursday trying to get out of Colorado while they still could.

Managers at the nation's fifth-busiest airport drew up snowplowing plans, and airlines urged ticket-holders to get early flights or wait until after the storm. The airport and airlines called in extra workers, and security lines moved relatively quickly. But long lines formed at ticket counters as travelers tried to adjust their plans.

The Frontier line snaked across the cavernous terminal, weaving behind the lines of ticket counters on the other side of the building.

Frontier waived its usual change fee to encourage passengers to catch earlier flights. "Let's try and get as many people out ahead of the storm as we can," Frontier spokesman Joe Hodas said.

After running out of bedding for stranded passengers during the first storm, airport managers lined up cots and blankets and urged food vendors to ensure they had plenty of supplies on hand.

In New Mexico, Interstate 40 remained closed Friday morning from Albuquerque to Santa Rosa, with numerous crashes were reported after a storm swept through.

Residents of Cheyenne, Wyo., also braced for another snowstorm. Heavy snow began falling around dusk, and forecasters said up to a foot was expected.

In California, a powerful winter storm left tens of thousands of people without power as winds gusted to near-hurricane force. Forecasters warned of dangerous winds, with gusts over 70 mph, through Friday morning in the valleys and mountain passes.

Copyright © 2006 Associated Press

No comments: