DENVER — A blizzard moved into the Denver metro area Wednesday morning with strong, heavy, wet snow that forced schools to close and snarled roads.
By noon, the Federal Aviation Administrations halted flights at Denver International Airport. Officials closed DIA after cancelling more than 1,000 flights as the powerful storm created white-out conditions.
Just hours earlier, it was a balmy 70 degrees with blue skies.
Several school districts in the metro area announced they would be closed ahead of the blizzard, including Denver Public Schools, Aurora Public Schools, Cherry Creek Schools and Adams County school districts.
Snow totals in Denver are expected to reach 10 to 14 inches by Wednesday night. Temperatures will start in the 30s but then drops into the 20s during the day. The mountains will have heavy snow as well, with as many as 16 inches expected.
Xcel Energy reported 118,000 customers lost power, with most of that in the north metro area, particularly Boulder and Denver International Airport. An Xcel spokesman said 5,000 employees are working to restore the power. Crews from Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico will be in the area Thursday to help restore power.
“It’s all hands on deck,” Mart Sturtz said.
But a second classic spring snowstorm is setting up to move into the area Friday night into Saturday with another few inches of snow expected.