The governor of the U.S. state of Colorado has declared a state of emergency as heavy snowstorms hamper holiday travelers and mail delivery on one of the highest-volume days of the year.
The storm struck Wednesday and continued Thursday across much of the United States' central plains region. Some areas are buried under 61 centimeters of snow.
Thousands of travelers are stranded at Denver International Airport, with all flights canceled. Major roads through the Rocky Mountains are closed. Officials have reported numerous traffic crashes.
Mail delivery also has stopped in many areas. December 21 is traditionally one of the highest-volume mailing days of the year, as people rush to get greeting cards and gifts to loved ones before Christmas Day, December 25.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.