Rare Snow Storm Surprises Arizona, While Colorado Struck Again

January 24, 2007

More than a foot of snow fell on parts of northern Arizona, and several more inches were possible while children as far south as Tucson got a rare chance to play in the snow.

Sunday’s storm was the latest of winter storms that have brought snow, ice and strong winds to the Midwest region and the Southwest, including Arizona, Texas and New Mexico.

The harsh conditions were blamed for 11 traffic deaths in the Midwest states over the weekend. In Colorado, crews looking for a missing snowshoer Monday found his body in a creek southwest of Denver, but authorities had not determined whether it was the missing man.

Southern New Mexico picked up 9 inches on snow Sunday and Monday, closing 66 miles of the Interstate 25, the state’s major north-south highway.

In Colorado, 3 to 6 inches of snow fell across much of the Front Range, with more in the in the eastern plains and the mountains. A long stretch of Interstate 70, from near Denver International Airport almost to the Kansas state line, reopened by Monday morning after being closed Sunday.

The coroner’s office in Colorado’s Jefferson County confirmed that a body found near a reservoir on the edge of the Denver area was that of Mel Dinklage, 46. The cause of death was not determined.

Sheriff’s spokesman Jim Shires said Dinklage lived in the Denver area and was an inexperienced snowshoer.

In Oklahoma, where an ice storm disrupted power to as many as 125,000 homes and businesses more than a week ago, about 12,500 electrical customers remained without power early Monday.

Hundreds of utility linemen worked through the night in hopes of fully restoring power by Monday or Tuesday, authorities said.

A pickup truck carrying radioactive materials used in pipeline scanning equipment was swept from a bridge and disappeared in a swollen creek in Oklahoma’s Pittsburg County, said Undersheriff Richard Sexton.

The truck’s two occupants escaped unharmed, but efforts to locate the truck and its radioactive cargo were suspended after dark.

In Missouri, more than 45,000 people remained in the dark from the same storm.

Winter weather has also hit hard on the East Coast, bringing snow, sleet and freezing rain to Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland and making roads treacherous. An accident on Interstate 81 in Virginia killed one person and injured five, authorities said.

Topics Windstorm Arizona Colorado

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