Weather Slams Plains States
April 11, 2001
Severe weather hit central states from Texas to Nebraska late Tuesday and early Wednesday.
A powerful snowstorm paralyzed part of Colorado and Wyoming this morning, shutting down hundreds of miles of major highways. Gusty winds and drifting snow created near-blizzard conditions.
Crews closed about 70 miles of Interstate 25 from Colorado Springs to the Denver area and from Wellington north to Cheyenne, Wyo. A 70-mile stretch of I-70 from Aurora east to Limon also was closed, and a 100-mile stretch of I-80 was shut down from Laramie, Wyo., to Kimball, Neb.
According to the Associated Press, dozens of truckers sought refuge from the storm at the Little America Hotel and Resort travel plaza in Cheyenne, Wyo. A cashier told the AP, "I just came in this morning - barely."
The storm also spread a line of severe thunderstorms across the eastern Plains, with hail, high winds and tornadoes wreaking havoc. Tractor-trailers were overturned in Texas' San Angelo and Shamrock area, with wind gusting to 60 and 70 mph in north central Texas. Overturned tractor-trailers were also reported near the panhandle town of Spearman.
More severe weather is expected as the storm's cold front moves into the Midwest and mid-South, as snow continues to fall in the West, with nearly a foot of total accumulation expected from Denver northward through eastern Wyoming today, according to The Weather Channel's web site.