Central USA: Blizzard

A monster winter storm that slammed the Rockies and central Plains contributed to the deaths of a Colorado State Patrol corporal and a Texas lineman on Wednesday, officials report.

The ‘bomb cyclone’ packed blizzard conditions, hurricane-force wind gusts, and hazardous travel.

The storm turned deadly when a Colorado State Patrol corporal was struck and killed by a vehicle while he was outside helping a car that slid off of Interstate 76 in Weld County, Colorado.

A Volvo lost control and ran into Corporal Daniel Groves, 52. Corporal Groves, a veteran of nearly 12 years for the State Patrol, was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said on Twitter that Groves will be remembered as a hero.

Xcel Energy confirmed the death of a lineman during the wind storm recovery efforts near Hereford, Texas, local Texas news station KCBD reports.
Utility workers fight to fix a downed utility pole in Alliance, Neb. Power issues are expected to continue as weather conditions worsen.

Colorado State Patrol Corporal Dan Groves, 52, was killed on I-76 Wednesday while he was responding to a vehicle that had slid off the road and another driver lost control a vehicle and fatally struck Groves on the side of the road.

Highway 85 was closed in Douglas County, Colorado, at Manhart due to a jack-knifed semi.

Traffic was stopped on Interstate 70 in Colorado for over two hours on Wednesday.

Fire officials said powerful winds blew the chimney off this home in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, littering the roof with bricks. Some places in Colorado saw wind gusts of nearly 100 mph.

The National Weather Service deemed the storm a “cyclone of historic proportions.”

As the blizzard developed, heavy snow lashed northern Colorado, including Denver, western Nebraska, eastern Wyoming, central South Dakota, and southeastern North Dakota.

Gov. Polis declared a state of emergency on Wednesday and activated the Colorado National Guard to assist with search, rescue and safety operations. Nebraska Gov Pete Ricketts issued a state of emergency on Tuesday.