Closed, canceled and delayed: How the snowstorm is shutting down Colorado

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Signs on I-70 near Ward Road warn travelers the highway is closed going into the mountains west of Denver. March 14, 2024.

Updated 2:14 p.m. Thursday

Major school systems in the Denver metro and central Colorado are canceling classes Thursday because of a major storm expected to dump more than a foot of snow across the region.

Forecasters have warned the warm, moisture-packed storm system could bury much of the heavily populated Interstate corridor, ensnaring daily life and making travel nearly impossible.

Road closures and other travel delays

Interstate 70 is closed in both directions between Silverthorne and Denver as of Thursday morning. The Colorado Department of Transportation said it doesn't expect commercial motor vehicles to pass until noon on Friday, but did not announce an estimated reopening time.

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
A State Trooper works to help free a motorist pulling a trailer, and trucks backed up on I-70 at the Morrison Exit where CDOT has closed the road into the mountains.

“If you have to ask ‘How do I get there?’, the answer is you can't,” Colorado State Patrol said on X, formerly Twitter

Other major closures include C.R. 381 starting at Georgetown, U.S. 40 between Empire and Berthoud, and U.S. 6 at Loveland Pass. 

Snowplows are active across other major highways within the Denver metro area to keep them open, however delays and dangerous road conditions should be expected. The Colorado Department of Transportation reported a crash due to icy lanes along I-25 near the Denver Tech Center. 

The Regional Transportation District reported several route delays or cancellations Thursday. Both rail and bus lines are affected, due to no operators being available. 

Even if travelers are able to make it to Denver International Airport, their chances of getting out of the airport appear slim. More than 800 flights leaving from or arriving at the airport have been canceled as of 7:30 a.m. Thursday, according to flight tracking website FlightAware. About 40 flights have been delayed. 

Here’s a round-up of major closures:

  • Denver Public Schools, administrative offices and school-related events and activities. That includes Emily Griffith Technical College, Discovery Link and ELCS Enrichment programs, district officials said.
  • Denver Art Museum, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and the Denver Zoo.
  • Douglas County School District, administrative offices and school-related events and activities, district officials said
  • Cherry Creek Schools, administrative offices, in-district sports events and team practices and before/after-school programs are canceled, according to district officials.
  • Littleton Public Schools and school-sponsored activities, according to district officials.
  • All four University of Colorado campuses have cancelled classes. This does not impact operations at UCHealth or Children's Hospital Colorado.
  • The Auraria campus is closed.
  • The Colorado School of Mines in Golden is closed.
  • 27J Schools, administrative offices and school-related events and activities in Brighton and Henderson, including the Transitional Learning Center program, district officials said.
  • Boulder Valley School District, all classes and extracurricular activities, district officials said in an email.
  • Jeffco Public Schools, which includes campuses in Evergreen, Golden and other parts of the foothills. Also, Jefferson County facilities and courts will close.
  • City and County of Denver buildings, including city services, libraries and recreation centers.
  • Douglas County offices and courts.
  • Several ski resorts, including Arapahoe Basin, Eldora and Loveland Ski Area.

Several closures have will extend to Friday, including:

  • Denver Public Schools
  • Jeffco Public Schools
  • Cherry Creek Schools
  • Douglas County School District