Spring storm pummels several towns

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A powerful spring storm unleashed blizzard-like conditions across Colorado Wednesday, virtually shutting down travel in the state with widespread road problems and the closure of Denver International Airport.

"It's the worst storm of the season, there's no question about it," said Dan Hopkins, spokesman for the Colorado Department of Transportation. "When you have winds like this with the heavy snow, that's when you really have problems."

Hopkins said several major roadways were closed around dawn Wednesday, including a stretch of Interstate 70 from Aurora to Limon and part of Interstate 25 from Wellington to Cheyenne, Wyo.

Meanwhile, officials at DIA said the airport was forced to shut down because of adverse weather.

The storm dumped several inches of heavy, wet snow across much of Colorado and kicked up winds to gusts of more than 35 mph. The strong winds were blamed for creating poor visibility and drifting snow.

Schools were closed in several Front Range and eastern plains communities, including Colorado Springs, Denver, Douglas County, Elbert County and Jefferson County.

Hopkins said chain laws were in effect on most central mountain passes, though he said road conditions had begun to improve in the mountains by daybreak.

The storm was expected to move into Kansas Wednesday afternoon, but not before leaving several more inches of snow in some places.

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