| DENVER, March 9
DENVER, March 9 A powerful Pacific storm dumped
heavy snow across Colorado on Saturday, leading to the
cancellation of hundreds of flights at Denver International
Airport and the postponement of a Major League Soccer game.
No part of Colorado was spared from the fast-moving storm,
which triggered blizzard conditions on the state's eastern
plains, the National Weather Service said.
A foot (30 cm) of heavy, wet snow is forecast to fall in the
Denver metropolitan area, with higher totals expected in the
foothills west of the city before the system moves out toward
Kansas and Nebraska in the evening, said National Weather
Service meteorologist Kari Bowen.
More than 500 flights in and out of Denver International
Airport were canceled on Saturday, although the facility remains
open, said airport spokesman Heath Montgomery.
"Many of the canceled flights are commuter flights that go
to mountain towns," Montgomery said.
But air passengers can expect delays of up to 30 minutes as
crews de-ice departing aircraft, he said.
The Colorado Rapids postponed their Major League Soccer game
against the Philadelphia Union until Sunday, the team said on
Blowing and drifting snow prompted the closure of a 180-mile
(290-km) stretch of Interstate 70 in both directions between
Denver and the Kansas state line, the Colorado Department of
Transportation said in an alert.
Westbound lanes of Interstate 70 have also been closed at
the Eisenhower Tunnel in the mountains 50 miles (80 km) west of
Denver. "Conditions are rapidly deteriorating in many areas of
the state," the department warned.
The heaviest snow accumulations are forecast in the
southwest mountains, with up to 2 feet (60 cm) of snow
predicted, Bowen said.
Winds gusts up to 35 mph (56 kph) prompted the weather
service to issue a blizzard warning for a dozen eastern Colorado
counties, where travel is being discouraged.
The snowfall was good news for farmers in eastern Colorado,
who have been in the grips of a multi-year drought.
(Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Peter Cooney)