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Highway 491 north of Dove Creek opens

Several minor accidents reported; no injuries
U.S. Highway 491 near Dove Creek on Friday afternoon.

The Dolores County Sheriff’s Office issued an alert Friday afternoon warning drivers not to travel on two highways north of Dove Creek, due to snowy conditions.

Just before 2 p.m. the office sent out a Nixle alert warning of accidents on U.S. Highway 491 near mile marker 56, and on Colorado Highway 141 near Slickrock. Dolores County Emergency Manager Keith Keesling said traffic accidents at both locations were minor, with no injuries reported, but they had caused the roads to become partially to fully blocked in both directions. As of 2:30 p.m., sheriff’s deputies were allowing a few vehicles to travel north on Highway 491, but blowing snow and icy conditions had caused major delays in traffic on both roads.

At 2:30 p.m., Keesling said about 30 cars and semitrailers were waiting in traffic on Highway 491, and some had already been there for an hour. Deputies were attempting to reroute traffic, he said, but most of the nearby roads were in just as bad or worse condition than the highway.

“We just really need people to not come here right now,” Keesling said.

Colorado Department of Transportation and San Juan County Sheriff’s Office personnel were trying to clear Highway 141.

Keesling estimated the Dove Creek area had about 4 inches of snow by mid-afternoon. The National Weather Service predicted snow showers and gusts of wind would continue through the night in Dolores County, with a low of 10 degrees.

The sheriff’s office sent out another alert about 5:30 p.m. saying that traffic was moving in both directions on the highways again.

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