March is going out like a lion |

March is going out like a lion

Post Independent Photo/Kara K. Pearson A spring snowstorm falls on Greg Durrett as he shovels the sidewalk along Blake Avenue in Glenwood Wednesday morning. Durrett said he wasn't too excited about his drive down to Denver later in the day.

Last week, April Webster sunbathed in the yard of her West Glenwood home. Wednesday, she donned a snow jacket and pants to build a snowman with her son, Johnathan. Wednesday’s snow came as a surprise to many folks around town, even the forecasters. “I don’t think we expected quite this much (snow),” said Ellen Heffernan, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

The NWS had called for scattered showers Tuesday night and Wednesday morning in Glenwood Springs, but springtime showers are difficult to predict, she said. The Colorado Department of Transportation closed Glenwood Canyon from about 7 to 8:15 a.m. Wednesday morning, said D’Wayne Gaymon, a junior foreman for CDOT. Snow caused five single-car accidents in the canyon, all of which involved cars sliding into concrete medians, said Colorado State Patrol sergeant Dean Garcia.

After CDOT cleared the accidents, stopped trucks had a hard time getting traction to head up the hill near Hanging Lake Tunnel. CDOT’s wrecker pulled the stuck trucks up into the tunnel where the pavement is dry and trucks can get on their way, said Gaymon. He said the snow in the canyon was especially heavy. “It was snowing hard enough this morning that it didn’t look like we had plows out,” Gaymon said. “We always have out plows out there,” he said, but the snow was just hard to keep up with.CDOT and the NWS are both expecting a break in the wet weather for a few days, though temperatures will be unseasonably cold, said Heffernan. Look for 20 degree temperatures through Thursday, she said, with the next chance for precipitation late Sunday or Monday.

The state patrol also had reports of five vehicles that slid off the road between the Mesa County line and New Castle, Garcia said. “People were just driving too fast for the conditions,” he said. Folks that didn’t have to drive found a way to enjoy the spring snow. Todd and Annie August, of Chicago, were headed out snowmobiling Wednesday morning. They typically visit relatives this time of year and “expected to be skiing in our shorts and T-shirts up at Sunlight,” said Todd, adding that snowmobiling is a welcome surprise.

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