ARAPAHOE County, Colo. (KDVR) — Interstate 70 reopened Thursday after being shut down near Strasburg because of a pileup during some wild weather Wednesday.
Much of the metro area saw the snow moving through, but on I-70, there were what are called “snow bands” moving through. They move fast and are disruptive.
CSP Limon tweeted out photos showing visibility conditions near zero. State troopers also tweeted out pictures of a pileup that included nine semis and a dozen vehicles.
One man whose car slid off the road off said weather conditions kept changing.
“It didn’t seem too bad compared to how it was during the night, but it was slick out here,” Noumouke Sissoko said.
Strong, possibly blinding snow bands were moving through.
“It wasn’t a blizzard, but it could be zero visibility for a couple of miles on the road with heavy snow and blowing conditions that’s a major issue,” Pinpoint Weather meteorologist Travis Michels said.
Snow bands are unpredictable
A CSP spokesman said the weather was an issue in some areas, but it was not widespread. That’s one reason I-70 was still open.
High winds, which follow patterns, shut the road here often, but snow band paths are unpredictable.
“If we still have traffic that is coming through, whether it is going slow or fast, as long as it’s moving through, it can still be open,” Colorado State Patrol Master Trooper Gary Cutler said.
Still, big rig drivers need to slow down when there’s weather, said Jason Emery, who teaches people to drive rigs.
“The majority of the issues in snow and ice is that drivers cannot adjust to conditions and get surprised when and it leads to a chain reaction, which we saw in that wreck,” Emery said.
More than 24 hours after the crash, the sidelined drivers were finally on the road again.