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Wet spring snows hit Rockies, Nebraska


DENVER (AP) - Much of Interstate 80 in southern Wyoming was closed Monday after a spring storm brought up to 3 feet of snow to the Rockies and severe thunderstorms and tornadoes to the Midwest.

A flash flood watch was in effect for portions of Oklahoma and Arkansas, where more than 4 inches of rain were possible. Meanwhile, residents in eastern Nebraska were cleaning up from Sunday's thunderstorms and twisters, which ripped roofs off homes and toppled buildings, but caused no major injuries. People in the western Panhandle woke up to a blanket of heavy, wet snow.

In Wyoming, a 180-mile stretch of I-80 was closed between the Nebraska state line and Rawlins. Another 200 miles of eastbound I-80 between the Utah state line and Rawlins also was closed because of snow and blowing snow. Truck stops in southeastern Wyoming were full of stranded truckers.

In Colorado, the snow that began falling on Mother's Day caused some power outages as it weighed down newly greening trees.

Among those affected by the outages was Denver International Airport, where some escalators and elevators temporarily stalled Monday morning. Airport spokeswoman Julie Smith said a backup generator spared the airport any major problems. At least 27 arriving and departing flights were canceled due to the weather, but Smith said there were no major delays. Crews were working overnight to de-ice runways.

The lingering snow slowed down Monday morning's commute in the Denver area but driving conditions were worse in the mountains. The weather appears to be to blame for at least one fatal crash Sunday on U.S. Highway 285 southwest of Denver.

The highway was one of the worst for accidents in the storm. Two law enforcement cruisers were also hit along the road in less than an hour responding to other crashes.

In Nebraska, officials said the storms damaged homes and businesses in or near Sutton, Garland, Cordova and Daykin, knocking out power. Parts of Illinois, Indiana and Iowa, were hit by strong thunderstorms and hail, which also caused some power outages.

"May snow certainly isn't unheard of here in Colorado, even down in the Denver metro area," said David Barjenbruch, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Boulder. "If we see the total accumulations that we are anticipating from this storm, we are certainly going to see a top 10 May snow event for the Denver metro area."

In the West, high winds at the bottom of the storm sent dust blowing across Arizona and New Mexico, and the Los Angeles area had been under "red flag" fire warnings, with authorities saying blazes could quickly spread out of control under low humidity, gusty winds and dry conditions.

The storm is the result of a low-pressure system moving east colliding with a cold air mass from the north. While temperatures were expected to drop below freezing Monday night, spring-like weather was expected to return to the Rockies by Tuesday.

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Tamara May 12 2014 at 1:40 PM

This is not new for Denver! It has been tradition for more years than I can count that we watch our tulips and such get destroyed by this kind of thing.

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dollibug May 12 2014 at 2:14 PM

In 2007 we took a vacation to Wyoming and they had SNOW in JUNE....actually it SNOWED while we were there. Some town people told us that they had the most snow in 25 years....and it was still on the mountain tops. Yellowstone and the other mountains close to it were simply BEAUTIFUL....(can not remember the other mountains right beside Yellowstone) Everyone needs to go out WEST at least once in their lifetime. We have GREAT PLACES TO VISIT RIGHT HERE IN AMERICA.

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1 reply
georginaschaller dollibug May 12 2014 at 2:33 PM

I remember the snow on Mt. Hood in Oregon in the summer. It was beautiful until the eruption. I guess all now miss that beauty. But God will create more as he always does. Too bad we all take it for granted.

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Larry May 12 2014 at 2:18 PM

All weather runs in cycles God greated this planet and he put in safe guards to take care of the planet man just has to deal with it as it comes.
Modern man can survive an ice age , so bring it on !!

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1 reply
andrewjsas Larry May 12 2014 at 2:30 PM

Why did god give you a brain if you aren't going to use it?

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3 replies
Larry May 12 2014 at 2:21 PM

Back in the late 70'` and mid 80'`s it snowed in Clearwater Florida, so stranger things have happened , all part of Gods plan not man

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1 reply
georginaschaller Larry May 12 2014 at 2:29 PM

Right you are. I have been around a long time and realize that God always knows what he is doing..

All this snow sinks into good old earth to feed it and then it can produce all the things we love to eat.


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1 reply
Cloyd Brock georginaschaller May 12 2014 at 2:43 PM

I lived in Woodland Park, Co in the 90"s and we had a blizzard in July, It happens all the time and it was not because of man! Just more B.S our so called government is feeding us!!

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wallacelind May 12 2014 at 2:27 PM

I crossed the Rockies back some 20 years ago on the 4th of July & it was snowing. I think snow up there is never too surprising.

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1 reply
thorrsman wallacelind May 12 2014 at 2:51 PM

This snow was down on the flats too, not just in the high country.

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frankdodgee May 12 2014 at 2:32 PM

let's all write a note to Al Gore.

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Diana May 12 2014 at 2:32 PM

I'd like to know if people noticed any planes leaving a lot of long chemtrails in the skies a day or two before the bad weather set in. I've noticed them everytime we've gotten weird weather last spring and this spring. We got a snow storm here in VA in mid March and the planes had been constantly flying above for two days leaving chemtrails that ended up looking like someone was weaving a basket in the sky. When the snow started, although the sky was very cloudy I could still hear the planes flying back and forth above that day.

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1 reply
reharris366 Diana May 12 2014 at 2:53 PM

darn pesky humans---They will wind up warming us back up to that degree we lost last century.

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blossmmoon May 12 2014 at 2:36 PM

Lived in Denver for 35 years, & there's nothing unusual about snow in May. April is actually the 1st or 2nd snowiest month. Beautiful, wonderful place to live & it's always a surprise. Snow doesn't stick around...will probably be gone by tomorrow or Thursday. No better place to live...Love it! Nothing to do with global warming...just the way it is there, although I do believe in global warming being a problem worldwide.

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2 replies
James M. Adams blossmmoon May 12 2014 at 2:39 PM

Rocky Mountains will never be underwater. You're safe.

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reharris366 blossmmoon May 12 2014 at 2:51 PM

Why did you move.

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James M. Adams May 12 2014 at 2:38 PM

It's now called 'climate disruption'

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1 reply
mjlgalway James M. Adams May 12 2014 at 2:58 PM

Have to keep changing name every time they're wrong.This is all about money.Don't forget America was once under an ice age.

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thorrsman May 12 2014 at 2:49 PM

This is the reason I left Colorado for warm and sunny Colorado. In more than forty years, I saw this all too often for my comfort.

Nothing new in it, mind you. I've seen cold and dreary weather down on the flats into mid-June, hail-drifts in August, tornadoes, blizzards, winds gusting to 85+ miles per hour perpendicular to the highways and a whole host of other unpleasant weather conditions just in a single state.

Save the comments about hurricanes, I'll ride those out IF one hits where I live. I've ridden out enough else in more than five decades.

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1 reply
thorrsman thorrsman May 12 2014 at 2:50 PM

That should have been "warm and sunny Florida".

I wish AOL would bring back the "edit" function for typos like that.

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