November 17, 2015 / 10:16 AM / 4 years ago

More than 100 flights canceled as blizzard hits Colorado

(Reuters) - More than 100 flights were canceled at Denver International Airport on Tuesday as a powerful storm system dropped snow over the Rocky Mountains, while tornadoes were reported from Texas to Nebraska, officials said.

A blizzard warning was issued for a large swath of northeastern Colorado and western Kansas because of the storm system, which originated in Alaska, according to the National Weather Service.

The weather service said the storm would continue to move eastward after it closed roads east and south of Denver, which had been forecast to receive heavy snow but was spared from the heaviest snowfall.

The town of Elizabeth, some 40 miles southeast of Denver, was hit by 19 inches of snow, while the nearby town of Parker had 16 inches, the weather service said.

The Colorado Department of Transportation reported numerous accidents and highway closures. Local broadcaster KUSA said as many as 150 cars had been stranded on Interstate 25 in the morning.

Several tornadoes were spotted over northern Texas, western Kansas and southern Nebraska overnight, according to weather forecasting site AccuWeather.

Denver International, one of the busiest U.S. airport hubs where more than 100 inbound and outbound flights were canceled, advised passengers to allow extra time to get through security. The weather service recorded wind gusts of 58 miles per hour at the airport.

Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco and Keith Coffman in Denver; Editing by Richard Balmforth and Richard Chang

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