Snowstorm closes Denver airport, stranding Air Force Academy cadets

About 1,100 travelers spent Monday night at Denver International Airport, including many cadets from the Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs, Colo., according to reports.

Airport spokeswoman Alex Renteria told The Associated Press that the cadets either missed flights or wanted to get to the airport before road conditions deteriorated.

Among those spending the night at Denver’s airport as a big snowstorm hit Colorado was Air Force Academy cadet Sadie Luhman, who was trying to get to Chicago for Thanksgiving.

Luhman told KCNC-TV that she left the academy near Colorado Springs late Monday to drive to the airport in the hope of beating the storm but ended up traveling right in the middle of it.

The trip took about three hours. That’s more than twice the normal driving time and she arrived at 1 a.m. Tuesday, 10 hours before her scheduled flight.

The airport has received 9.5 inches of snow from the storm so far. About 30 percent of its average daily 1,600 flights were canceled.

At the Denver airport, about 7 inches had fallen by Tuesday morning with more expected in the afternoon. Windy conditions reduced visibility, prompting the cancellation of about 30 percent of the airport’s average daily 1,600 flights.