Finally! Storm dumps welcome snow

Aspen Times Staff
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” Just in time for local kids on spring break this week, a winter storm deposited 7 welcome inches of new snow at Aspen Highlands overnight, while Snowmass picked up 6 inches of fresh stuff and Aspen Mountain got 4 inches.

Buttermilk, which will close for the season at the end of the ski day on Sunday, picked up 2 inches.

Snow continued to fall in Aspen on Thursday morning, and a winter storm warning that had been set to expire at 6 a.m. has been extended until 6 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

Another 3 to 5 inches of new snow are forecast Thursday, and an additional 1 to 3 inches are expected Thursday night. Friday could bring accumulations of 1 to 3 inches before the storm peters out. Partly sunny skies are forecast on Saturday, according to the weather service.

Since early Tuesday morning, Highlands has received 10 inches of new snow, while Snowmass is boasting 9 inches and Aspen Mountain picked up 7 inches, according to the Aspen Skiing Co. Four inches fell at Buttermilk over the two-day stretch.

The spring storm that swept across the Rockies brought much-needed snow to Colorado ski areas that have endured a mostly warm, dry March.

On Thursday morning, Vail reported 8 inches of new snow within the past 24 hours, while Copper Mountain picked up 6 inches. Steamboat Springs was reporting 5 inches.

Sunlight Mountain Resort, outside Glenwood Springs, reported 2 inches of new snow since early Wednesday. The ski area is scheduled to close April 8.

Winter Park on the Front Range reported 4 inches of new snow on Thursday morning, as was Telluride in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado.

Crested Butte reported no new snow in the past 24 hours, and just an inch in the past 48 hours.

While the storm system brought a reprise of winter to the mountains, it spawned severe weather on the plains, including a tornado in Holly, Colo. that damaged homes, killed one person and injured at least eight, according to authorities.

A tornado as wide as two football fields carved a destructive path through the small eastern Colorado town.

A 28-year-old woman died of massive injuries from the twister, which struck at about 8 p.m. Wednesday, Prowers County Coroner Joe Giadone said Thursday.

The victim’s name was not released. She died after she was airlifted to a hospital in Colorado Springs, about 160 miles west.

Emergency responders said they believe everyone had been accounted for in the town of 1,000, about 235 miles southeast of Denver near the Kansas border.

In Oklahoma, a husband and wife were killed Wednesday near Elmwood, Okla., when the storm blew apart their home, said Dixie Parker, Beaver County’s emergency management director.

At least 11 tornadoes were reported throughout western Nebraska on Wednesday, destroying or damaging three homes and 10-12 miles of power lines, emergency management officials said.

The same storm system had dumped snow on Wyoming, where a school bus carrying 36 students from Tongue River High School to a competition in Cheyenne collided with two minivans on Interstate 90 Wednesday, school officials said.

Soon after that crash, another pileup started nearby involving several passenger vehicles and seven big rigs, two of which were hauling diesel fuel. One of the diesel haulers rolled over, and authorities said the other leaked around 1,000 gallons of fuel. No one on the bus was hurt, but four other people were taken to a hospital, Wyoming Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Stephen Townsend said.