Snowfall of 4 or more inches expected in GJ
A winter storm iced roads Monday, causing school closures and sending cars careening.
Parachute and De Beque schools will be closed today because of the weather.
Jeff Kirtland, spokesman for School District 51, said Monday that employees in the district’s transportation department would be on Grand Valley roads by 3 a.m., testing road conditions and conferring with Mesa County road and bridge experts to determine if Grand Junction, Fruita and Palisade schools will close or open late today.
Closures are posted online at http://www.mesa.k12.co.us.
“Regardless of whether or not there’s a delay or closure, the likelihood of buses running is pretty high,” Kirtland said. “Cars should keep a distance from buses. This is when little fender-benders are pretty common for us.”
Tom Renwick, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, said the valley floor could accumulate 4 or more inches of snow today, while the outskirts of town could get up to 8 inches.
A winter weather watch in Grand Junction will last until 6 tonight, according to the weather service.
“It could get tricky,” Renwick said of driving conditions.
Vehicle accident calls began Monday afternoon as school and work ended and drivers slid home in foggy, snowy weather.
The Grand Junction Police Department issued an accident alert at 3:47 p.m. because of the weather and numerous crashes from the Redlands to Clifton.
The alert meant officers focused on accidents that involved injured people and asked people involved in non-injury crashes to exchange information and file an accident report within 48 hours.
Colorado Department of Transportation maintenance crews based in Grand Junction work to clear roads from west of the city all the way to Vail Pass 24 hours a day on 12-hour shifts during storms.
The 120 employees of the Grand Junction Maintenance Section of CDOT patrol the Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs, Montrose and Gypsum areas and operate 199 pieces of equipment.
Grand Junction-area patrols alone plowed 204,179 lane-miles, sprayed 583,479 gallons of liquid de-icer and spread 960 tons of salt and sand on Colorado roadways last winter.