121Traffic and ColoradoCop, I hope you guys are okay.


Huge avalanche buries cars on road to Colorado ski area
11:55 AM PST, January 6, 2007

DENVER -- A huge avalanche buried cars Saturday and may have pushed others over the edge today on U.S. 40 near 11,307-foot-high Berthoud Pass, Colorado highway officials said.

''Our crews said it was the largest they have ever seen. It took three paths,'' said Stacey Stegman, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Seven people had been rescued and one was taken to a hospital, Stegman said.

The slide buried at least two cars, state Patrolman Eric Wynn told CNN.

Crews were probing the area for other vehicles, including any that may have gone off the road, Stegman said.

The avalanche was described as 100 feet wide and 15 feet deep.

The area usually has slides 2 to 3 feet deep, Stegman told CNN. ''This is a tremendous amount of snow to come down the mountain for us,'' she said.

Three snow storms in as many weeks have dumped more than 4 feet of snow on parts of Colorado.

Berthoud Pass is the main route to Winter Park, one of Colorado's largest ski areas.

Stegman said the late-morning timing meant most traffic headed to the ski area had already passed. ''If it would've happened just a couple of hours earlier, this would've been a very different situation,'' she told CNN.