Late spring storm brings heavy snow to Aurora area, causes delays, damaged trees — UPDATED


AURORA | A spring storm that swept across the metro area Monday night and Tuesday morning brought heavy snow, airport delays and reports of numerous damaged trees, but Aurora schools remained open.

“A strong spring storm continues to rip through the region,” said meteorologist Lisa Hidalgo of 7News in Denver.  “We’ll see a rain-snow mix along the Front Range this morning, with more scattered showers this afternoon.”

Denver International Airport officials said dozens of flights were delayed because of the snow.

The National Weather Service reported between 2-and-4 inches of snow across Aurora. Mountain areas received up to a foot in some places, according to NWS officials.

Officials are warning drivers traveling through a broad swath of central Colorado and Wyoming to be prepared for snow and ice as the late spring storm passes through.

The National Weather Service issued winter weather warnings from central Wyoming south through Colorado to the New Mexico line.

Multiple northbound lanes of Interstate 225 near East Mississippi Avenue in Aurora were temporarily closed Monday night due to a two-car crash in the area, according to Aurora police.

“The snow is causing significant slow downs in the area,” police wrote on the department Twitter account at about 10:30 p.m. May 20.

Weather-related crashes were also being reported on mountain roads in Colorado, where Weather Service forecasters have predicted between 8 and 18 inches of snow and wind gusts as high as 35 mph.

Collisions closed eastbound Interstate 70 near the Eisenhower Tunnel Monday. The interstate reopened later in the day, but closed again Tuesday morning near Vail and Glenwood Springs due to rockslides and hazardous driving conditions.

While most regional school districts remained open Tuesday, including Aurora Public Schools and the Cherry Creek School District, a bogus Twitter account purportedly operated by the Douglas County School District sewed confusion Monday night.

The account, which has since been restricted by Twitter, issued a tweet late Monday saying Douglas County schools would be closed Tuesday due to the storm.

Aurora police debunked the Tweet shortly after it was published.

No Douglas County schools were closed as a result of inclement weather on Tuesday.

Erin O’Neil, superintendent of marketing and special events for the city’s parks department, said city staffers have been clearing downed tree limbs in high-priority areas, including the city’s busiest streets and entrances to hospitals and fire stations, throughout the morning.

If calls from city residents regarding fallen trees and limbs continue throughout the morning, the city may stage wood chipping stations where residents can get rid of errant branches. 

O’Neil said the city will likely make a decision on whether officials will set up the chipping stations by about 12 p.m. today. She inst