At the time, David Larsen was superintendent of schools in Deer Trail, located more than 50 miles east of Denver on I-25. He and his family were enjoying Christmas Eve from home.
He then got a call from the school custodian.
"So I hurried over to the school and lo and behold, busloads of folks that had been on the road from Kansas City started coming up the walk to the school," Larsen said.
He estimates roughly 300 people ended up packing the school - sleeping in hallways or wherever they could find a spot - for days. The roads were simply not passable.
"The low points came when we told them you're not going home for Christmas day, and you're not going home the day after. It was pretty discouraging," Larsen said.
They had to wait until the roads were clear. The snow was too high.
He remembers fondly how everybody sang Christmas carols together. Santa even managed to make an appearance at the school.
"We were all strangers. We had never been together before, and we just had the most blessed Christmas together," Larsen said.
(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)