A major winter storm, described by meteorologists as a
This storm hit Denver with a rare intensity, including hurricane-force winds. Thousands of people are stranded at the city's airport Thursday. The Denver Airport closed all of its runways for only the fourth time ever.
White-out conditions made Colorado roads nearly impossible to navigate. Vehicles sat parked on Interstate 76 while powerful winds pushed around giant trucks like toys. Officials shut down major interstates, and implored drivers to stay off the road. Police responded to more than 125 crashes on Wednesday in Denver alone.
Farther north, drivers struggled to dig out of deep snowdrifts in Nebraska and overnight, one state trooper got stuck as she tried to rescue a stranded driver. The storm dumped as much as two feet of snow in parts of the Rockies.
The same storm system swept through the Southwest Wednesday. Heavy winds topped 80 miles an hour in Texas, flipping a semi-truck as it drove on the highway and sending a tree straight through homes in Dallas. In New Mexico, freight cars were blown off their tracks.
Back in Denver, airport employees passed out blankets to stranded passengers last night. By day's end, more than 1,300 flights were cancelled.
Power outages are another concern. At one point, more than 300,000 people were without power. More than 100,000 are still in the dark, in the bitter cold.