Winter returns to the valley |

Winter returns to the valley

Photo courtesy Dylan Lewis/Sunlight MountainA snowcat grooms fresh-fallen snow at Sunlight Mountain Resort Tuesday morning, which measured 17 inches officially.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” A late winter storm brought close to 20 inches of snow to Sunlight Mountain Resort, while several inches of fresh snow on the valley floor closed schools and wreaked havoc on area highways during the early morning hours.

What started as rain Monday evening turned to wet, heavy snow overnight causing slick conditions for the morning commute.

A jack-knifed semi-trailer truck on Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon closed the eastbound lanes for a period of time Tuesday morning. The highway was reportedly open again by around 8:30 a.m.

Numerous other accidents also kept the Colorado State Patrol and emergency officials busy along I-70 between Glenwood Springs and Rifle, and on Highway 82 between Glenwood and Aspen.

No official State Patrol accident reports were available for this report. However, Garfield County Clerk and Recorder Jean Alberico confirmed that deputy clerk and administrative assistant Marian Clayton was involved in a rollover accident near South Canyon.

“We did get word that she was in a rollover and was taken to the emergency room. We’re waiting to hear how she’s doing,” Alberico said, adding that Clayton had called the office and was not believed to be seriously injured.

The storm also closed Roaring Fork District schools, as well as other schools in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale. It was the first snow day for area schools this school year.

Sunlight Resort was reporting the most new snow of any ski resort in Colorado, with an official total 17 inches of new snow overnight. Some first-hand accounts pegged it at closer to 20 inches in places. The storm had given way to blue skies by mid-morning.

The storm boosted Sunlight’s base to 68 inches at the top of the mountain, a welcome return to winter weather after several weeks of spring-like temperatures and little snow.

Aspen ski areas were reporting anywhere from 6 inches at Highlands to 11 inches at Buttermilk.

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