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Spring storm leaves Colorado Springs with closed schools, trees down and power outages

By: The Gazette
April 4, 2017 Updated: April 4, 2017 at 10:49 am
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photo - A city crew removes a fallen tree limb from Nevada Avenue on the eastside of Colorado College after a wet, heavy snowstorm hit the Colorado Springs area Tuesday, April 4, 2017. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
A city crew removes a fallen tree limb from Nevada Avenue on the eastside of Colorado College after a wet, heavy snowstorm hit the Colorado Springs area Tuesday, April 4, 2017. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock) 

The latest spring storm hit the Colorado Springs area with several inches of snow overnight, leaving several school districts closed or on delay, felled trees, power outages and slick roads Tuesday morning.

Click here for the latest information on closures for schools, military installations and businesses.

Click here for updates on power outages.

Among the school districts closed: Colorado Springs District 11, Academy 20, Falcon 49, Cheyenne Mountain 12, Lewis-Palmer 38, Widefield 3, Woodland Park Re-2 and Calhan RJ1.

Some military installations are closed (Schriever Air Force Base and Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station) or delayed reported status. Peterson Air Force Base is open to mission essential staff only.

Update: 10:30 a.m. - 

Pikes Peak Community College and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs are closed Tuesday after initially deciding to have delayed starts.

Update: 9:51 a.m. -

Power is once again restored to customers in northern Fountain, according to Fountain Electric.

Update: 9 a.m. -

Power has been flipping off and on in Fountain all morning as Fountain Utilities struggles to keep juice flowing despite the heavy snow weighing down lines.

Two minutes after the utility company said power was restored to thousands of customers in the area of Highway 85/87 south of Grand to Mesa Ridge Parkway, it was back off again, according to spokeswoman Heather Spainhower.

"We apologize for the bumps in power and the inconvenience this is causing our customers," Spainhower said.

Update: 8:51 a.m. -

The heaviest snow will fall through 10 a.m. and then gradually become lighter as the afternoon progresses. Precipitation will fluctuate between snow and rain for a bit.

Update: 8:50 a.m. -

Snow removal crews in the city were called in early to address downed trees, according to snow manager Jack Ladley.

Update: 8:44 a.m. -

Approximately 2,200 Members are out of power in scattered locations including Wetmore, Beulah, Colorado City, Lascar, River Ridge Ranch and Stem Beach, according to San Isabel Electric.

Update: 8:28 a.m. -

Power has been restored to 2,897 customers with Fountain Utilities after another brief outage Tuesday morning.

Update: 8:21 a.m. -

Commutes are extended by more than half an hour Tuesday, according to the Colorado State Patrol at Castle Rock. Plan ahead and leave early if you must be on the road.

Update 8:20 a.m. -

"Monument Hill is treacherous," according to the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District. The District is asking drivers to use caution and allow Colorado Department of Transportation personnel to keep roads clear.

Update: 8:18 a.m. -

Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Base, Peterson Air Force Base and Schriever Air Force Base are closed.

Update: 8:15 a.m. -

Fountain Utilities has been struggling with outages most of Tuesday morning.

After losing the W-2 circuit again about 7:57 a.m., Utilities said approximately 2,897 customers were without power. The outage affects mostly customers east of Highway 85/87 south of Grand to Mesa Ridge Parkway.

Update: 8:05 a.m. -

Crashes and slide-offs are causing traffic delays across Colorado Springs and along the I-25 corridor.

A crash on southbound I-25 near Surrey Ridge north of Castle Rock is having a "Huge traffic impact," according to the Colorado State Patrol.

Another crash was reported on eastbound Highway 24 near Waldo Canyon.

"SLOW DOWN," patrol urged in a tweet. "There is snow and ice on the roadway."

Update: 8 a.m. -

"Only wet and drizzling" at Denver International Airport, according to a Tweet. 

Update: 7:57 a.m. -

No weather related delays or cancellations at Colorado Springs Airport so far Tuesday morning, but airport is recommending passenger check with their airline for updated flight information.

Update: 7:56 a.m. -

Another 500-plus customers without power in Colorado Springs near Asbury Place and East Cheyenne Road.

Update: 7:39 a.m. -

Expect another inch or two across Colorado Springs before the storm ends, meteorologists with KKTV warned. Manitou Springs could see a total of 10 inches of snow by the end, with Briargate, The Broadmoor and Falcon following close behind with 9 inches.

Update: 7:08 a.m. -

Another Colorado Springs Utilities outage has 529 customers without power near Ivywild, south of downtown Colorado Springs.

About 59 customers out near Pine Grove Avenue west of The Broadmoor, and 54 customers out south of Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Base. Smaller outages are scattered throughout the city.

Update: 6:48 a.m. -

A winter weather advisory is in place in Colorado Springs until noon Tuesday. Northern parts of the county will see falling snow longer, with an advisory in place until midnight.

Update: 6:41 a.m. -

Fountain Utilities, which already restored power to 3,000 Tuesday morning said a blown fuse has left another 101 customers without power near Landoe Lane North to McBurney Boulevard, and Amherst Street West to Monk Street.

"Crews are in route to make the necessary repairs as soon as possible," spokeswoman Heather Spainhower said.

Update: 6:15 a.m. -

More than 1,300 Colorado Springs Utilities customers were without power west of downtown shortly after 6 a.m.

Power was restored to nearly 3,000 Fountain Utilities customers who were without early Tuesday morning.

--

Snow totals reported shortly after 6 a.m. from Gazette news partner KKTV include: 

- Colorado Springs: 3-6 inches.

- Falcon: 7 inches.

- Security: 5 inches.

- Truckton: 4 inches.

- Woodland Park: 5.5 inches

- Trinidad: 2 inches

- Penrose: 4.5 inches

A winter weather advisory went into place Monday night - to last through midnight Tuesday - for areas including northern El Paso County and Teller County.

The advisory from the National Weather Service in Pueblo warned of the possibility of "deteriorating travel conditions," with roads becoming "slick, snowpacked and icy overnight through Tuesday," and breezy conditions. Pueblo and Fremont counties, as well as parts of Douglas and Jefferson counties, were under the advisory.

Gazette news partner KKTV predicted the following snow totals:

- Downtown Colorado Springs, Security, Cimarron Hills, the Colorado Springs Airport, Fountain, Rush: 1-4 inches

- The Broadmoor, Manitou Springs, Rockrimmon, Briargate, Falcon, Calhan: 2-6 inches

- Black Forest, Monument, Woodland Park, Cripple Creek: 4-8 inches

- Cañon City, Penrose: 3-6 inches

Pikes Peak above 11,000 feet is one of several areas, including parts of Douglas and Elbert counties, under a winter storm warning through midnight Tuesday, which "means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring."

"Only travel in an emergency. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency," according to the warning.

Rain was expected to become snow overnight in Colorado Springs, with an 80 percent chance of snow after 1 a.m., according to the weather service. Tuesday has a high of 36 degrees and an 80 percent chance of rain and snow before 3 p.m., when it's expected to become rain, then mix with snow again. Tuesday night has a 30 percent chance of rain and snow before 9 p.m., then snow until midnight.

On Tuesday, a 20-25 wind is expected to decrease to a 15-20 mph wind, with up to 35 mph gusts, according to the weather service. Winds are likely to calm down to 10-15 mph at night.

"Some of the snow will be locally heavy, and that will likely lead to travel issues for the Tuesday morning commute," KKTV reported. "The heaviest snow will occur in Teller County and just north of (Colorado Springs), with another area of heavy snow occurring just to the west and south of Pueblo."

Sunny skies are expected Wednesday and Thursday, with highs of 47 and 54 degrees, respectively, according to the weather service.

-

Contact Ellie Mulder: 636-0198

Twitter: @lemarie

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