Record breaking blizzard in Colorado

Firefighters help a police officer, whose car was stuck, to get out of the snow. About 1,100 motorists were stranded in Colorado as a ferocious winter storm, called a

Firefighters help a police officer, whose car was stuck, to get out of the snow. About 1,100 motorists were stranded in Colorado as a ferocious winter storm, called a "bomb cyclone," hit central Colorado.

Shelby Patton, Ranger review reporter

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On Wednesday March 13, a blizzard hit central Colorado, causing local schools and highways to shut down. “With a Blizzard Warning set to go into effect in Colorado on Wednesday, some school districts announced Tuesday that they will close for the day,” CBS Denver said.

Major highways and roads across Colorado were shut down as Wednesday’s blizzard caused a whiteout in some areas, triggering multiple crashes and leaving people stranded in their vehicles. Interstate 25 was closed from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday afternoon.

“Closures are carried out so roads can be cleared of snow and hundreds of vehicles that were stuck in the blizzard,” the Colorado Department of Transportation said. “Vehicles towed off the highways will be placed in centralized locations and owners will be contacted by officials and notified of where to pick up their vehicles.”

The blizzard caused numerous accidents on Colorado highways and roads. There were also multiple fatalities due to these accidents and the extreme road conditions.

“‘On Wednesday, 100 vehicles were involved in an accident on Interstate 25 near Wellington, Colorado,” according to an article by CNN. “About 1,100 motorists were stranded in Colorado as a ferocious winter storm, a “bomb cyclone,” unleashed hurricane-force winds and blizzard conditions in parts of the central United States.”

According to meteorologist Brian Bledsoe, Colorado does not typically feel direct impacts from an ocean or an ocean current making low pressure as strong as it was on Wednesday. A warm air front passed further south, and temperatures climbed to nearly 100 degrees in parts of Texas on Wednesday. Coupled with the cold air heading further up north, these weather patterns helped create the conditions for Wednesday’s historic storm.

“A 97 mph wind gust was recorded at the airport, which is the strongest wind gust ever recorded in that area.  Along with an 80 mph gust in Denver on Wednesday according to Denver post,” Chris Bianchi said in an article published in the Denver Post. “This week’s blizzard was the strongest on Colorado record A low pressure reading of 970 millibars is likely the lowest reading in Colorado’s recorded history.”

This blizzard has also had fatal effects on many Colorado citizens, including Colorado State patrol officer Daniel Groves. In Weld County, State Patrol Cpl. Groves, age 52, was hit by a car Wednesday morning while helping a driver whose car slid off Interstate 76, according to a state police report.

“This isn’t your average Colorado storm. We are at the point where we are rescuing rescuers out there,” Ryan Parsell, a spokesman for El Paso County, said. “We are in full saving lives mode.”

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