CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) -- A snowstorm that had earlier blanketed most of Wyoming trained its fury on Cheyenne over the weekend, setting a record for snow fall so early in the fall, before plowing through Colorado and into western Nebraska.
Wyoming's capital recorded 10.5 inches of snow, though the accumulation was fleeting. Throughout Sunday, clumps of snow fell from sun-warmed trees and roofs and all but a couple of inches melted away.
Temperatures in the 50s and 60s were forecast for much of Wyoming on Monday and Tuesday, and temperatures in the 70s were expected in Colorado by Tuesday.
In Cheyenne, the last comparable September snowfall deposited 4.9 inches on Sept. 28, 1985, according to the National Weather Service. Just under 6 inches fell on Cheyenne after midnight Sunday, a record for a single day in September, weather service technician Jim House said.
More than 1,200 travelers who were stranded in Rawlins and Rock Springs -- many of them for a second day -- began departing Sunday as Interstate 80 was reopened across Wyoming one section at a time.
"We had 15 miles in Rawlins that was nothing but a parking lot for trucks," said Don Brinkman, chairman of the Red Cross branch in Carbon County.
More than 500 travelers spent Saturday night at a Red Cross shelter set up at the Rawlins Family Recreation Center, and about 400 others stayed at the Wyoming National Guard armory in town.
Others traveler ended up in churches and a former train depot after the hotels filled up. Four hundred holed up in Rock Springs at an events complex and a recreation center.
"This town, the whole area, is just bumper to pumper trucks, cars moving vans you name it," said Judy Valentine, Sweetwater County emergency management coordinator, who was in Rock Springs.
Saturday evening, a 12-car pileup on Interstate 80 just east of Laramie delayed a University of Nevada bus and postponed for an hour a football game at the University of Wyoming. No one was seriously injured.
Tom and Linda Vaught, of Wichita, Kan., had planned to spend a week camping in Yellowstone National Park. Instead they felt lucky just having a hotel room in Laramie.
"We've never been stuck like this, ever," Tom Vaught said. "We'll always remember Laramie."
Vaught said he went to the local Wal-Mart looking for gloves and found none. "I asked the lady where all the gloves were and she said the Nevada football team came in and cleaned us out," he said.
On Sunday, the storm dumped up to 15 inches of snow in Colorado's northern mountains and about 6 inches along the lower elevations of the Front Range. Power outages affecting thousands were reported across Larimer County, about 62 miles north of Denver, as the snow collected on leafy trees and snapped branches, said Carl Burroughs of the weather service.
The storm came on the heels of record highs in some areas of Colorado, then pushed temperatures to record lows at Denver and Grand Junction.
The temperature of 29 degrees at Denver International Airport early Sunday tied the record set in 1926 while the 35 degrees at Walker Field Airport broke the old record of 37 set for Grand Junction in 1946.
Farther east, the storm covered the western half of Nebraska. Nearly 9 inches fell at Harrisburg, near the Wyoming state line, and about 6 1/2 inches fell at Scottsbluff.
Freezing temperatures were expected there into early Monday.
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