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Snow causes hazardous roads, multiple crashes Friday but will clear Saturday morning

March 7, 2014 Updated: March 7, 2014 at 9:30 pm
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A spring snow storm moved through the state Friday, dumping heavy snow in the Colorado mountains and foothills Friday night, causing hazardous road conditions that closed highways, caused sever crashes and raised avalanche concerns.

The Colorado Department of Transportation reported just before 8 p.m. that U.S. 24 was closed in both directions near mile marker 324 because of a head-on collision that sent three people to the hospital with injuries.

Drivers on eastbound Interstate 70 between the Eisenhower Tunnel and Idaho Springs faced hour-long delays, and U.S. 6 over Loveland Pass was closed because of poor conditions, and one person died in a multi-vehicle wreck on U.S. 285 in Jefferson County that appeared to be weather related.

An avalanche closed U.S. 40 in both directions for several hours at Berthoud Pass, west of Denver, and buried cars along the stretch Friday afternoon.

Special avalanche advisories were issued Friday and would remain in effect until Sunday for the Front Range, Grand Mesa, Sawatch mountains and Vail and Summit counties, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

With sunny skies predicted Saturday and warm weather forecasted for Sunday, the Avalanche Information Center warned that the combination of warm temperatures and fresh powder could produce conditions for increased avalanche activity. According to the center, "Some of these slides will have the potential to step down deep into the snowpack resulting in a very large and potentially deadly avalanche."

Some areas of the central Colorado mountains were forecasted to receive as much as two feet of snow, the National Weather Service said in a winter storm warning.

Other areas in a swath from northwest to southeast Colorado, including northern El Paso County and Pueblo County, were under a winter weather advisory Friday, with snowfall estimates of 5 to 14 inches, the weather service said. Areas west of Interstate 25 and south of U.S. 50 were expected to get the most snow - perhaps as much as 2 feet. Areas of Colorado Springs received up to 3 inches of snow.

The snow was expected to clear out Saturday morning, the National Weather Service said.

It'll be a quick turnaround on Sunday and Monday, when sunny skies and highs in the mid to upper 60s are forecast for Colorado Springs.

Another storm system is expected in southern Colorado Tuesday and Wednesday, bring the possibility of "beneficial precipitation," the weather service said.

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