The fast-moving storm that whipped through the area late Tuesday continued to have its impact early Wednesday morning.
Highway 24 east of Colorado Springs toward Limon was closed until about 7:15 a.m. because of weather conditions.
Highway 94 has also reopened, according to the Colorado State Patrol.
Northbound Interstate 25 from Monument hill to the south Denver area was slick and slow.
The only highways closed as of 8 a.m. Wednesday were State Highway 71 between Limon and Last Chance and State Highway 86 between Kiowa and Interstate 70, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. The chain law was in effect on I-70 eastbound from Silverthorne to the Eisenhower Tunnel, the department said.
Wednesday's weather calls for mostly sunny skies and warmer, with a high near 32.
The storm with 35 mile per hour wind gusts and blizzard-like conditions pounded eastern and northern El Paso County on Tuesday, forcing road closures, stranding motorists and leaving dozens of students in rural Rush looking at a sleepover at school.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said about 60 students from the Miami-Yoder School District about 38 miles east of Colorado Springs couldn’t get home and were possibly stuck for the night.
“They were fine. The school had plenty of supplies and was prepared to ride the storm out as was necessary,” sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Kramer said.
The students were under the supervision of school staff, who contacted their parents, Kramer said. Kramer didn’t know the ages of the stranded students. Miami-Yoder has about 316 students in elementary, middle school and high school.
“If they had to (spend the night), it does sound like they are more than prepared for that. Let’s face it, the duration of their stay will be driven by the weather,” he said.
Meanwhile, some school districts in the eastern and northern parts of the county were calling for delayed starts for Wednesday morning. Lewis-Palmer District 38 is one of the area districts to cancel classes for the day.
The students weren’t the only ones eyeing unusual accommodations.
Nearly two dozen stranded motorists spent the night at Station 2 of the Ellicott Fire Department.
“We have some couches and stuff like that. That’s about it,” said a fire department lieutenant who declined to give his full name.
The winter blast was expected to wind down by midnight.
But the damage had already been done.
Highways 24 and 94 east of Colorado Springs were closed starting about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, and the city of Colorado Springs reported multiple crashes and slide-offs across the city.
“Was just on Hwy 83 near Powers. Roads are slick up here & snow is blowing everywhere. Drifts taking up whole lanes,” Germaine Adams said on Twitter.
A county official said road conditions had “deteriorated quickly” and that the county planned to have as many as 20 snowplows working as long as needed.
El Paso County Search and Rescue sent a team with a Sno-cat to Yoder to rescue a stranded motorist. Spokeswoman Teresa Burgess said late Tuesday that she had not heard an update from the team, which was helping other stranded motorists along the way.
“They’re tagging cars that they’re finding empty, and they’re also collecting other people as they go by,” she said.
No more than two inches of snow were expected to fall in Colorado Springs.
“By tomorrow, the system will be departing and (there will be) improving weather conditions under clearing skies and slightly warmer temperatures and dry conditions. Not much warmer, just slightly,” said John Kalina, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pueblo.
Amaro Montemayor, Colorado Springs’ streets operations manager, said crews started putting down deicing materials, especially on the southwest side of town, about 2 p.m.
“This is what we call more of a nuisance storm. It’s not enough to plow, but it’s enough to cause … uh … driving nightmares. I’m trying to find the right words,” he said, laughing.
Montemayor said the city will have 16 to 20 snowplows scattered across the city until about 9 or 10 o’clock at night. But crews are always prepared to work longer, he said.
“If it gets heavier on us, we can always call back people,” he said. “Even our own weather guys, the ones we rely on, they tell us half an inch and the next thing you know, it’s four inches. It happens.”
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An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to road closures as being west of Colorado Springs on Highway 24 toward Limon, which is in fact is east of the Springs.