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Snow, icy roads close I-70 in mountains, cause major traffic delays

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CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. -- For more than three hours on Monday afternoon, drivers sat along I-70. The Eisenhower Tunnel was closed in both directions and it created a big traffic backup.

As drivers made their way west along I-70, they were greeted with snow flurries and slight accumulation on the roads. Just south of Idaho Springs, Clear Creek County Sheriff’s deputies worked on clearing a rollover accident. They say the driver was just going too fast for the conditions.

Lori Mcanish lives in Evergreen. She said drivers weren’t being careful enough. “There’s cars on the side of the road, there’s trucks pulled over, the state trooper was out there pushing somebody, it was pretty bad.”

Those conditions quickly got worse. Kenny Hyde was traveling from Dillon. He said, “There’s not much on the road but it’s extremely icy and it’s stop and go and every time people stop, they slide out and more people get stuck.”

Mother Nature walloped drivers with high winds and blowing snow, forcing the Colorado Department of Transportation to close I-70 at Georgetown.

“Closer to the tunnel gets worse,” said Mike Schwaneveldt. “It’s bad up on top, but we’re getting them through.” Schwaneveldt is part of CDOT’s courtesy tow program. He works with Western Towing and was expecting a busy night. “I’ve seen a couple roll-overs, a couple trucks have been stuck so far, but we’ll get ‘em out of the way.”

Peter Termote and his wife are traveling through from Canada. They say the closure caught them off guard. “It was three hours that we were stuck on the roads, a couple kilometers in front of the tunnel and we really didn’t move.”