Blizzard shuts down Denver International Airport, impacting air traffic across country

Officials shut down Denver International Airport on Wednesday, canceling over 1,000 flights after a mega snowstorm temporarily knocked out power and created conditions unsafe for plane takeoffs and landings unsafe.

The blizzard hit Denver and the surrounding regions of Colorado early Wednesday, causing ripple effects in air traffic all over the country. In other cities, planes destined for Denver had to sit on tarmacs (along with their passengers!) while awaiting clearance. At the time of this blog post, the airport remains closed, according to an announcement published on the Denver airport's Twitter feed and elsewhere.

From the official Denver International Airport Facebook page:

UPDATE: Denver International Airport remains closed due to weather and visibility. There are treacherous conditions on the airfield and no planes are departing or arriving. Peña Boulevard is still impassable at this time. Airport maintenance crews are working with the Denver Police Department to clear stranded and stuck vehicles from Peña Boulevard so that crews can plow the roadway in order to open it to traffic. Currently, traffic is not being allowed to access Peña Boulevard in either direction. Both 56th Avenue and Tower Road are open, but due to conditions, travel is not advised in the area of the airport.
Passengers currently at the airport are still being asked to stay put until conditions improve and Peña Boulevard is safe and passable. The airport will make announcements when Peña Boulevard is again safe for travel.

The airport continues to thank passengers for their patience. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.

From Reuters:

The closure came one day after a suspicious package was found at the airport's main terminal, prompting a brief evacuation amid heightened security in response to deadly suicide bombings in Brussels.

Power was knocked out at the airport for more than an hour on Wednesday, briefly preventing crews from fueling and de-icing aircraft, airport spokesman Heath Montgomery said.

A total of 573 departing and 549 arriving flights had been canceled at the airport by about 1 p.m. MDT (1900 GMT), according to flight tracking website

Tweets from the official Denver airport authorities below, along with some weather nerd stuff that illustrates just how massive this storm system is, and where it's headed next.