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Blizzard closes Denver airport, 1,200 flights canceled

Airline passengers brave blowing snow during a blizzard at Denver International Airport March 23, 2016.
Andy Cross | The Denver Post | CNBC
Airline passengers brave blowing snow during a blizzard at Denver International Airport March 23, 2016.

The first day of spring already came and went, but winter still holds parts of the U.S. in its icy grip.

A blizzard shut down Denver International Airport on Wednesday, canceling 1,200 flights and stranding travelers. The storm also caused ripple effects across the country as planes awaited clearance to depart for snowbound Denver.

The blizzard on Wednesday marked the first time since 2006 that bad weather forced the airport to close; last time, storms blanketed Denver with several feet of snow.

Although forecasters expected this storm to let up later in the afternoon, officials could not yet say when the airport would reopen.

A main roadway to the airport was impassable, stranding passengers in terminals.

Concerts were canceled and outdoor sports arenas were also closed due to the storm.

Still, some local residents took the time to enjoy the snow.

— Reuters contributed to this report.