The latest winter storm moving out of the Rockies onto the Great Plains is having an impact on travelers throughout Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado.
On the ground, Nebraska Department of Transportation Director Kyle Schnieweise announced during a news conference in Lincoln that Interstate 80 would be closed at 5 p.m. Mountain Time west of the I-76 interchange. At the same time, U.S. 30 will also close from Big Springs to the Wyoming state line. Transportation officials say also closing at 5 p.m. are Highway 385 from Bridgeport to Sidney, Nebraska 19 from Sidney to the Colorado line, and Highway 71 from Gering also to Colorado. Colorado roads officials are also expected to close Interstate 76 at that time.
NDOT snow plows had been working primarily in the northern Panhandle during most of the day, with pavement conditions reported as covered with snow, slush and ice. Full coverage has been reported for the majority of roads in Dawes, Sheridan and Box Butte counties.
In Wyoming, the majority of roadways at 2 p.m. impacted by the storm were reported as wet, however road conditions were reported as slick in spots on U.S. Highways 26 east and west of Torrington, and 85 south of Torrington. In Colorado, road conditions were reported as wet to slush- and snow-covered in areas north of Denver and Ft. Morgan.
The initial impact of the day was to air travelers, as cancellation of flights started Wednesday morning. Skywest’s afternoon flights between Scottsbluff and Denver were cancelled by noon, as well as the early morning flight Thursday. According to a report by the Associated Press, about half of the daily flights at Denver International Airport were scrubbed early Wednesday afternoon.