Denver Blizzard Causes Flight Cancellations, Runway Closures, Travel Disruptions

The airport closed all of its runways after 27.1 inches of snow blanketed the ground.

Runways were closed, flights canceled, and travel severely disrupted after more than two dozen inches of snow fell over Denver and the surrounding Rockies on Sunday.

Denver's International Airport was forced to close all of its runways and spent the overnight hours digging out from a whopping 27.1 inches of snow.

Denver airport
Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

"Snow has stopped and crews are working hard to clear runways," the airport tweeted on Monday morning. "At this time, all runways remain closed and all morning flights have been canceled. If you're traveling today, please double check your flight status with your airline."

Several airlines issued travel alerts for the area, waiving applicable change fees, including American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, Southwest, and Alaska Airlines.

The weekend blizzard — which came with winds of at least 35 mph — was the fourth-largest ever recorded in Denver, the Denver Post reported, and the most snow the city has seen since March 2003.

Three feet of snow fell in the foothills west of Boulder, Reuters reported, while eastern Colorado saw punishing wind gusts of 45 miles per hour.

And in nearby Cheyenne, Wyo., about 26 inches of snow accumulated, a new two-day record for the city, the wire service reported, citing the National Weather Service.

Dangerous highway conditions forced officials to issue warnings imploring people to stay off the roads. Officials in Colorado and Wyoming closed Interstates 70, 25, and 80, Reuters noted.

"We are responding to a bunch of stranded people in their cars throughout the county," the Douglas County Sheriff's Office — located just south of Denver — wrote in a tweet. "Please, please stay home. One of our deputies and a CDOT plow driver even had problems."

Beyond the travel disruptions, more than 152,000 customers experienced a power outage, according to the Denver Post. However, many lasted only a few seconds.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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