Donner Party, Your Table Is Ready

Not that I think cannibalism is going to break out anytime soon, but about 2,000 people are currently stranded in the Colorado mountains due to the closing of Interstate 70. The people are being sheltered and cared for by the Red Cross and private citizens. Why is the road closed, you ask?

The threat of avalanches. Oh, and whiteout conditions.

Deep snow drifted into more than two dozen narrow ravines in the mountainsides — known as avalanche chutes — raising the danger of potentially deadly snow slides cascading onto I-70.

High winds and blowing snow forced the state to close the highway overnight. There was no word on when the busy thoroughfare through the mountains would reopen.

"I can't even venture a guess right now," Rod Mead, a spokesman for the Colorado Department of Transportation, said Monday.

Crews planned to use low-power explosives Monday morning trying to bring the snow down while the highway was closed, Mead said. Transportation officials said it would be at least midafternoon before the highway was reopened.

In addition to the avalanche threat, wind-blown snow reduced visibility to nearly zero.

At the 1.7-mile-long Eisenhower Tunnel about 40 miles west of Denver, wind gusts reached 70 mph, keeping crews from clearing the avalanche chutes.

"That is basically the problem we are having right now," said John Nelson, another spokesman for the transportation department. "It's not snowing, it's blowing snow."

The Red Cross has opened up seven shelters, but many people are also being taken in by local residents.  

(Brian) Jerry, who had been snowboarding at Keystone Resort Sunday when high winds began, said he and his friends found a place to stay through conversations at a restaurant.

"The good will and the bonding together has been outstanding," he said.

Even a smallish problem like this one brings out the best in people, doesn't it?

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7 Responses to Donner Party, Your Table Is Ready

  1. sam says:

    The kids came over from Denver for Christmas and drove on I-70 both ways. Luckily they didn’t have any (bad) problems, but on the way home they were trying to out drive a storm coming from the west. That is a scary stretch of road in bad weather. Unfortunately, the alternatives – Highway 40 or Interstate 80 – aren’t much better.

  2. Where’s George Bush? What’s he doing about it/

    Let me get this straight…people made their own arrangements for their own saftey and security simply by talking with their fellow man…and the Government didn’t play a roll in this?

    How can this be??

    /sarc

  3. Maggie says:

    redrum! REDRUM!

  4. NortonPete says:

    “Human Kindness Saves 2000 Lives From Snow Storm on New Years Eve.”
    A headline in the parallel universe.

    Happy New Year All.

    Thanks for this great site.

  5. Maggie says:

    @NortonPete

    Happy New Year All.

    Thanks for this great site.

    ————————————————————–

    DITTO, on both!

  6. NortonPete says:

    Maggie,
    RedRum is my favorite from the Shining.
    Happy New Year. Hope it doesn’t get that bad.
    NortonPete

  7. Gaius says:

    Happy New Year, everyone! May it be safe, prosperous and above all, fun for you and yours.

Comments are closed.