A blizzard has made travellers stranded and inconvenienced as Denver International airport cancelled around 1,000 flights on Wednesday due to safety concerns.
An airport official said that the blizzard caused a power outage that might prompt unsafe takeoffs and landings. Besides airways, highways in Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming also have stranded tourists as the blizzard moved to the Midwest. Although the effect of the storm was not severe, the planes had to wait for approval to take-off from the snowbound Denver airport. After seven hours of closure, the airport reopened with complete operations resuming on Thursday morning.
Airport spokesman Heath Montgomery confirmed that six runways are already open and the airport will begin its full operations. He added that out of the total of 1,500 scheduled flights, over 1,300 were cancelled, according to ABC News. Following hours of delayed flights, the airport decided to announce its shutdown because of the power outage.
It was in 2006 when Denver was struck by a blizzard that disrupted the lives of its residents and visitors for two days in a row. “We’ve got blowing snow out there, wet snow on the ground, icy conditions, low visibility, so we’re fighting all those things,” Montgomery said as quoted by Reuters.
Flight tracking website FlightAware.com reported the cancellation of 626 departing flights as well as 579 arriving ones by 1:00 p.m. MDT Wednesday (5:00 a.m. AEST Thursday). Meanwhile, the Colorado Department of Transportation stated that the drifting storm has caused the shutdown of Interstate 70 from Denver’s east to Kansas state line. Authorities are against the idea of travelling across eastern Colorado at all. “When tow trucks and fire trucks are getting stuck it’s bad,” the Colorado State Patrol tweeted.
Some restaurant owners extended their opening hours to help the people stranded because of the blizzard and it is expected that they will remain open over the night.