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Powerful Spring Blizzard Shuts Down Denver Airport, Stranding Travelers

The snowstorm crippled travel across the region, and marked the first time in nearly a decade the airport was closed due to snow conditions.

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Updated on

A powerful Spring blizzard blanketed northeastern Colorado in a foot of snow Wednesday, crippling the region's transportation and stranding thousands of travelers.

The Denver International Airport announced before noon that all flights would be grounded. A main road providing access to the airport was also closed temporarily.

Weather and visibility are such that it is not safe for aircraft to arrive or depart at this time cont..

As crews worked to clear the runways, airport officials announced flight operations could resume around 7 p.m. local time.

Our dedicated snow crews have been at it all day, and are clearing the airfield as we speak

Low visibility resulted in the cancellation of 738 flights, the Denver Post reported. The airport, like thousands of other residents in the Denver area, also briefly lost power.

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The last time the airport closed because of weather conditions was in 2006, the Denver Business Journal reported.

A blizzard warning remained in effect until 6 p.m., the National Weather Service said.

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At its height, snow was expected to fall at 3 inches per hour with winds of up to 60 mph, the weather service warned.

By 6 p.m., the airport had measured 12.1 inches of snowfall. The weather service forecasted much of the northeastern region of the state would see 10-24 inches of snow, with some areas exceeding 2 feet.

By mid afternoon, state officials deployed the National Guard to help in rescue missions related to the storm.

The State EOC has deployed Colorado National Guard resources on rescue missions related to #COwx storms. @CONG1860

The storm left travelers stranded for hours, with no way to leave the airport terminal.

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Claudia Koerner is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Claudia Koerner at claudia.koerner@buzzfeed.com.

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