High speed winds, dust and tumbleweeds cause problems in southeastern Colorado Tuesday

March 18, 2014 Updated: March 18, 2014 at 8:50 pm
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The wind is pretty constant south of Pueblo. And I-25 has disappeared into a dust storm. (@MichaelCiaglo)

High wind speeds and blowing dust and snow caused poor visibility on highways across Colorado Tuesday, especially in southeast portions of the state.

A high-wind advisory was in effect for much of El Paso County until 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Around 1 p.m., the poor visibility conditions were reported in Springfield, east of Trinidad, and the Colorado State Patrol reported multiple crashes and zero visibility on U.S. 287 south of Lamar to the Oklahoma, which was closed for several hours.

The conditions also shut down U.S. 160 from Trinidad to Kansas in both directions around 5 p.m.

Dry, high winds were also reported on Interstate 25 between Walsenburg and Colorado Springs and between Denver and Wyoming.

Near Fountain, the wind blew mountain of tumble weeds stacked up in front of a house, blocking a pregnant homeowner inside. She called firefighters to clear a path in case she went into labor.

Colorado Springs saw a high of 38, a low of 28 and wind speeds that peaked at 58 mph around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Peak wind gusts of 75 mph were reported near Yoder. Gusts of 62 mph were reported at the Air Force Academy, 60 mph in Baca County, 59 mph in Pueblo and Otero counties, and 69 mph in Las Animas and Prowers counties. People with respiratory problems were advised to remain indoors until the dust storms passed.

A 20 percent chance of snow was predicted before midnight for the Colorado Springs area with clear skies and a high of 50 predicted Wednesday.

Snow was forecast to fall throughout the day and into the night Tuesday, with snowfall totals predicted to range from 3 to 6 inches across the central mountains, and between 1 and 3 inches in the southeast mountains.

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