News Colorado trooper killed as ‘Bomb Cyclone’ unleashes snow, high windsBy Keith Coffman•Snow-covered cars are seen during the blizzard in Greeley Snow-covered cars are seen during the blizzard in Greeley, Colorado, U.S. March 13, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media. Mandatory credit TWITTER @PHOTOWILLG/via REUTERS By Keith CoffmanDENVER (Reuters) – A late-winter blizzard slammed U.S. Rocky Mountain and Plains states on Wednesday, unleashing a „bomb cyclone” of high winds and drifting snow that stranded motorists, canceled more than 1,300 airline flights and was blamed for the death of a Colorado state trooper.Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper declared a state of emergency due to the storm and said he had activated the state National Guard to assist in search and rescue operations.The National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings for parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and the Dakotas as schools and businesses were closed and local authorities urged residents to hunker down.Meteorologists referred to the storm as a „bomb cyclone,” a winter hurricane that forms when the barometric pressure drops 24 millibars in 24 hours.”So far, we have received 110 traffic crash reports and #Denver remains on #AccidentAlert,” the Denver Police Department said on Twitter.”If you absolutely have to head out, please be cautious — it’s still #snowgoing out there. Turn your lights on, set the wipers on high & don’t forget the extra stopping distance. #BombCyclone”The Colorado State Patrol said one of its troopers, Corporal Daniel Groves, was struck by a car that veered out of control on Interstate 76 and he died of his injuries a short time later at Platte Valley Medical Center in Brighton.At the time, Groves, 52, was on the scene of another accident in which a vehicle had slid off the roadway, the state patrol said. It added that „high speed in poor driving conditions” was being investigated in connection with the crash that caused his death.FLIGHTS DELAYED, CANCELED All six runways at Denver International Airport were shuttered, along with the main road into the airport due to drifting, blowing snow. An airport spokesman said 1,339 flights had been canceled as of mid-afternoon. Colorado Springs Municipal Airport canceled all incoming flights.All school districts in the seven-county Denver metropolitan were closed, along with most city and state government offices and many businesses.Officials in El Paso County, Colorado, said some 1,100 motorists were stranded on Interstate 25 near Colorado Springs.Utility company Xcel Energy said about 130,000 commercial and residential customers in Colorado were without power due to high winds and wet heavy snow.”Limited visibility has affected our ability to respond,” Xcel Energy spokesman Mark Stutz said, adding it was unclear when power would be restored.The police department in Northglenn, Colorado, tweeted a picture of a large tree that fell on a home, breaking through the roof. It was not immediately clear if anyone was hurt.Interstate 70 was closed east of Denver to the Kansas state line and sections of Interstate 25 were also shut down, according to Colorado Department of Transportation.”They typically do get strong systems this time of the year in that part of the country, but this one is may be a notch stronger than what you typically see,” said meteorologist Marc Chenard of the weather service’s Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.Forecasters said they expect winds of up to 70 miles per hour (110 kph) to sweep across a wide area of states to the south, including New Mexico and parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.”Pretty much through much of the Plains there’s going to be a threat for potential power outage issues,” Chenard said.More than 100,000 electric power customers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area were left in the dark early on Wednesday after a line of rain squalls associated with the system moved through the area.The storm was also expected to bring heavy rain to areas of eastern Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota that already have a good deal of snow on the ground, raising the threat of river flooding, the weather service said.The storm system is expected to weaken by Thursday as it moves over the Tennessee River Valley, bringing mostly rain from Michigan southward to the Gulf Coast and some remaining snow only in the far northern parts of the country, the weather service said.(Reporting by Keith Coffman in Denver; additional reporting Peter Szekely in New York, Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Writing by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Editing by Bill Tarrant and Sandra Maler)
News ‘Epic’ bomb cyclone hits central US with heavy snow, winds; Colorado trooper killedDoyle Rice and Trevor Hughes•‘Epic’ bomb cyclone hits central US with heavy snow, winds; Colorado trooper killedDENVER – A powerful „bomb cyclone” unleashed a ferocious mix of snow, rain and wind across the central United States on Wednesday and was being blamed for a crash that killed a Colorado State Patrol trooper.More than 1,300 flights have been canceled at Denver International Airport, where a wind gust of 80 mph was reported Wednesday morning. All runways at the airport were closed around early afternoon and remained closed into the evening. About 2,900 flights were canceled across the nation, according to flightaware.com. As of 5 p.m. MDT, about 128,000 Denver-area residents were without power, down from 246,000 four hours earlier. Interstates were shut down, most schools were closed and many businesses declared a snow day. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis declared a state of emergency Wednesday evening, activating the state national guard for search and rescue missions. Earlier in the day, Cpl. Daniel Groves was killed on Interstate 76 after a driver lost control of his vehicle in the storm and hit him. Groves had been helping another driver who slid off the highway, the state patrol said. In addition to road closures in Colorado and Wyoming, the Nebraska State Patrol closed Interstate 80 from the Wyoming border east to North Platte, as well as all state highways in the Nebraska Panhandle“This is a very epic cyclone,” said Greg Carbin, chief of forecast operations for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Weather Prediction Center. “We’re looking at something that will go down in the history books.”It could develop into the worst storm of its type in 35 or 40 years, he said.A blizzard warning remained in effect for Denver on Wednesday afternoon, where 4 to 8 inches of snow was forecast, along with howling winds.After a rainy early morning in Denver, conditions deteriorated rapidly, and by 11 a.m., most roads were snow-covered and flakes were whipping in the wind.By noon, the fierce storm was rattling signs and rocking cars. Roads become treacherous, and two-wheel-drive sedans struggled to climb up anything resembling a hill, their tires spinning fruitlessly.
More: Tornadoes cause damage in south; no injuries reported„High winds may end up stretching over 1 million square miles of the central states with this storm,” AccuWeather’s Sosnowski said.In the Upper Midwest and around the Great Lakes, as much as 3 inches of drenching rain on top of mounds of already-fallen snow and sodden soil could lead to flooding.”The greatest risk of flooding will tend to be in urban and poor drainage areas where piles of snow are blocking storm drains,” according to AccuWeather meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.Many rivers in the Upper Midwest were likely to reach flood stage over the next several days, the Weather Service said. More: What is a bomb cyclone? Winter hurricane explained.After two tornadoes were reported in New Mexico and Texas on Tuesday, more severe weather was forecast for Wednesday in the South. Portions of Arkansas, Alabama and Tennessee are at greatest risk for tornadoes and large hail, the Storm Prediction Center said.More: Check your weather forecastThe Weather Channel named the winter storm Ulmer. No other private weather firm, nor the National Weather Service, uses that name. While the central USA endures the storm, both coasts will see mostly tranquil weather this week.Contributing: The Associated Press. Rice reported from McLean, Virginia. Kristin Lam, USA TODAY. Lam reported from Los Angeles.This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ‘Epic’ bomb cyclone hits central US with heavy snow, winds; Colorado trooper killed