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Avalanche Risk, Whiteout Conditions Close Interstate 70 in Colorado

January 01, 2008

DENVER --- Nearly 3,000 travelers found themselves stranded in Colorado's high country Sunday and Monday, after whiteout conditions, gusting winds and the threat of avalanches forced the closure of a 70-mile stretch of Interstate 70.Before the shutdown, drivers near Vail reported very limited visibility and massive traffic jams. Emergency crews took eight hours to clear the highway and direct motorists to nearby schools, churches and other sites acting as emergency shelters. The American Red Cross brought in blankets and cots, and local businesses donated food.The highway was first shut down near Vail at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 30. Parts of the road began to reopen by Monday afternoon. By the evening, the full interstate was clear, the L.A. Times reported.
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