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DENVER (AP) - A spring storm dumped several inches of heavy, wet snow on Wyoming and Colorado Saturday, snapping branches of trees that had bloomed for the season and causing several accidents on slick roads.

Up to a foot of snow fell in the Colorado Rockies, and more snow was expected, according to the National Weather Service. Between 2 and 7 inches of snow fell on cities on the eastern slope of the Rockies, including Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins. Laramie and Cheyenne, Wyo., recieved more than 5 inches.

The downed or sagging branches caused power outages that affected some 35,000 customers at one point in Colorado, said Xcel Energy spokesman Mark Stutz. More than 10,000 customers in the Denver area and Boulder were without power Saturday evening, according to Xcel.

The weather caused several crashes, including a three-vehicle collision in Rock Springs, Wyo., that killed a man in a sport-utility vehicle. It was one of dozens of storm-related crashes along Wyoming's I-80 corridor.

Several minor accidents were reported on a slick Interstate 70 near Vail Pass west of Denver, said Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman Stacey Stegman. Near Fort Collins in northern Colorado, a multi-car pileup on wet roads closed a three-mile stretch of I-25 for about five hours.

The snow came during a weekend when many residents usually plan outdoor activities to take advantage of warm, sunny weather. The snow forced several events to be moved indoors, rescheduled or canceled.

At the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, a large tent set up for the commencement ceremony at the football stadium collapsed from the weight of about 3 inches of snow, said school spokesman Ken McConnellogue. The ceremony was moved from the 10,000-seat stadium to the school's gym.

"You always have a lot of people travel great distances to see this moment in their child's life and when the ceremony can't go as planned, it's disappointing," said McConnellogue.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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