DENVER — The first snow storm to hit the Front Range knocked out power and heat to thousands of homes and businesses Wednesday and downed tree branches. The state’s largest utility, Xcel Energy, said about 140,000 customers in and around Denver and in northern Colorado lost power at some point during the storm as tree limbs weighed down by the snow snapped power lines. About 107,000 were still without power as of Wednesday afternoon. The city of Loveland said an estimated 3,000 homes and businesses served by its municipally owned utility were without power. The Red Cross opened a shelter in the city, said Gretchen Stanford of Loveland Water and Power. Greeley and Longmont also were opening warming shelters. Colorado State University blocked off parts of campus where heavy, wet snow had snapped off tree branches. One female student was taken to a hospital after she apparently was hit in the head by a fallen branch. Two resorts that are already open got fresh snow. Arapahoe Basin reported 11 inches of new snowfall while Loveland reported 21 inches.
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