Morning commutes were treacherous and schools, government offices and businesses were closed or opening late Thursday because of a major snowstorm moving across the Northern Plains.
Drivers in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, the Dakotas, Colorado and Nebraska found dozens of roads closed by snow and accidents.
Crashes blocked lanes on Interstate 70 and Interstate 76 in Denver. Police said 96 crashes were reported in the city between 6 and 9 a.m., the Denver Post reported.
“We can do this — everyone take some calming breaths, slow down, turn your lights & wipers on and we can all get to where we’re going safely,” the Denver Police Department tweeted.
About 40 miles north of Denver, multiple crashes were reported on Interstate 25 near Berthoud, Colorado.
This. Is. A. Mess. pic.twitter.com/Jt3yLKjaDu
— Emily Allen FOX31 (@EmilyAReports) October 10, 2019
The storm system, which has been named Winter Storm Aubrey by The Weather Channel, could bring dangerous blizzard conditions to the northern Plains through late this week.
Interstate 15 in Idaho was closed from Dubois to the Montana state line because of high winds and drifting snow. The state’s Transportation Department said multiple slide-offs had been reported.
In Montana, a camper overturned on U.S 93 near the Idaho border, and a travel trailer tipped over on U.S. 287 south of Ennis, the DOT reported.
All eastbound lanes of Interstate 80 were closed near Cheyenne, Wyoming, because of multiple crashes.
More than a dozen highways were closed in northwest Nebraska after being covered by snow. The city of Chadron, which had received about 6 inches of snow, declared a snow emergency Thursday morning.
Dozens of school districts canceled classes or started late in South Dakota and western Nebraska.
— NDHP (@NDHighwayPatrol) October 10, 2019
Flights headed toward Denver International Airport were being delayed at their originating airports because of the snow, Denver 7 News reported.
On Wednesday, the storm system led to schools being closed in Spokane, Washington. About 32,000 customers lost power in Washington state Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.