Blizzard closes much of I-70 in eastern Colorado


DENVER | The latest on the powerful winter storm sweeping across the Rockies (all times local):

9:30 a.m.

Much of Colorado’s main east-west highway is closed because of blizzard conditions on the state’s Eastern Plains.

Eastbound lanes of a 160-mile stretch of Interstate 70 were closed from suburban Denver to Burlington, not far from the Kansas border, on Tuesday morning.

While Denver only got light snow, the snow has been heavier to the east and south of the city. Interstate 25 south of Denver was closed during the morning rush hour after dozens of vehicles were stranded there, but it later reopened.

In Texas, at least five tornadoes touched down in the Panhandle, including one that hit a Halliburton chemical facility near Pampa. The company says it was recently closed and no chemicals or workers were there at the time.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch until late Tuesday afternoon for areas including the state’s largest city, Houston. Forecasters say a small tornado touched down before dawn Tuesday in North Texas, in the Keller area. Several homes were damaged but nobody was hurt.

8:30 a.m.

Powerful winds continue to lash Southern California, toppling trees and knocking down power lines.

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning until 2 p.m. Tuesday for the San Gabriel Mountains, where gusts could reach 70 mph.

Winds in the greater Los Angeles area are generally between 25 and 40 mph. Temperatures in the 60s and 70s are expected.

Downed trees blocked roads overnight and at least 10,000 customers remain without electricity across Los Angeles County.

Forecasters say the winds will die down by the afternoon ahead of a warming trend.

A cold front that brought ice and snow to mountain areas and whipped up a tornado near Modesto moved through Southern California on Monday before heading east into the Rockies.

7 a.m.

Heavy snow and strong winds have shut down highways east and south of Denver and are delaying flights, but the city itself has only gotten some light snow.

A stretch of Interstate 25 south of Denver near Castle Rock was closed Tuesday morning because there were so many stranded vehicles, including two jack-knifed semi-trailers. Heavy snow and whiteout conditions have also shut down a nearly 80-mile stretch of Interstate 70 and Interstate 25 near the New Mexico border.

Denver International Airport is warning passengers that arriving flights could be delayed by up to 90 minutes because federal officials are slowing down traffic there to prevent longer delays. That could also cause some late departures.