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WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (KDVR) — At the Travel Center off Interstate 70 in Wheat Ridge, the lot filled up quickly Thursday. The hum of engines filled the cold air as many waited out the storm.

Jerry Schnock decided to hit the brakes on his trip from Missouri to California, his engine left idling.

“Why leave the safety?” he said. “Here’s where the hot water is, here’s where the shower is. Why risk getting stranded on the side of the road?”

Stalled, broken-down semis snarl traffic

Across the state, others ran into a slew of problems. 

The Colorado Department of Transportation said multiple trucks couldn’t make it up the hill to the Eisenhower Tunnel, forcing them to shut down the interstate on Thursday morning. 

In Cheyenne and Kiowa counties, Colorado State Patrol said multiple trucks broke down because of diesel gelling.

“The wax in the fuel gels up and it gets stiff unless you use a treatment to keep that from happening,” Schnock said. “There’s a lot of guys that don’t drive up in this region, so they’re really not prepared. They just come out and think it’s like driving in LA, but it’s not, it’s a different ball game.”

Micky Johnson said a friend of his ran into the problem on Wednesday night in Eastern Nebraska.

“I had a buddy last night freezing up, but I guess they put some of the additive in and got going again,” he said. “As long you keep that anti-gel stuff in there, you’re pretty good.”

Schnock is planning on waiting to cross the mountains until Saturday when conditions are expected to improve.

“I’m in no hurry,” he said. “Being a single guy, it doesn’t make any difference for me.”