Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Winter storm hammers parts of Colorado; crashes, poor visibility close some highways

The Gazette Updated: May 11, 2014 at 10:12 pm

Video: Colorado Springs was under a winter weather advisory Sunday. Here's a short video of the snow.

For weather-related delays and cancellations that may arise due to inclement conditions, click here. Share your photos and videos by emailing citydesk@gazette.com


UPDATE 10 p.m.


The Colorado State Patrol reports that within an hour Sunday evening, a trooper and a Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy were taken to hospitals to be checked out after their vehicles were struck while they were assisting motorists.

The Jefferson County deputy  was assisting a motorist who had slid off U.S. 285 when his vehicle was struck by a Durango. Neither the deputy or the Durango driver were injured in the 7 p.m. incident; two passengers were taken to a hospital to be checked, the state patrol said.

The trooper was investigating a single-vehicle crash on U.S. 285 near Fairplay just after 7:30 p.m. when another car lost control and hit his vehicle head-on, the patrol said. The victim of the first crash was in the backseat of the trooper’s vehicle, but was not injured. The trooper suffered minor injuries, the patrol said.


UPDATE 6 p.m.


Here are some snowfall totals in the Pikes Peak region from the National Weather Service:

-- 8 inches: Woodland Park, Florissant, Leadville

-- 4 inches: north of Florissant in Teller County

-- 3 inches: northern Black Forest

-- 1-2 inches: Colorado Springs

-- 1 inch: east Monument


UPDATE 5:35 p.m.


Colorado Springs police are on cold reporting status because of deteriorating road conditions. Police will respond to crashes if there are fatalities or serious injuries and if a driver is suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In all other crashes, drivers should exchange information and file their own reports at a police substation or online at springs.gov and follow links to CSPD homepage, forms and documents.


Police also report that snow is covering some traffic signals and lights in Colorado Springs, and they urge drivers  to use caution at intersections.

Meanwhile, the Colorado Department of Transportation reports that westbound I-70 at Georgetown has reopened. However, road conditions in most of Colorado continue to deteriorate as the storm continues. The National Weather Service said snow and blowing snow will continue until the early hours of Monday.


UPDATE 4:20 p.m.

U.S. 285 has reopened in both directions near Fairplay after a crash was cleaned up, the Colorado Department of Transportation reports. CDOT also reminds drivers that chain laws are in effect on many mountainous roads, including Colorado 91 over Fremont Pass, eastbound I-70 at Vail and westbound I-70 at Eisenhower Tunnel, and both directions of Colorado 67 near Cripple Creek. The chain law requires all commercial vehicles to use chains.

Although CDOT still shows I-25 near Larkspur as closed, motorists report that it has reopened. It was closed shortly before 3 p.m. because of a crash.

The National Weather Service office in Boulder reports that the highest snowfall totals so far are 19 inches near the Colorado/Wyoming border south of Laramie and 18 inches at Red Feather Lakes.

Current conditions in Colorado Springs: 33 degrees with snow and fog. Winds are out of the northwest at 26 mph, gusting to 38 mph -- making the wind chill about 20 degrees. Periods of heavy snow are forecast for late Sunday, with accumulations of 2 to 4 inches in the city, according to the National Weather Service.

Snow has been piling up in Woodland Park all day and another 3 to 7 inches is expected overnight.

UPDATE 3:15 p.m.

U.S. 287 has reopened from Ted's Place to Laramie, although conditions still are adverse, the Colorado Department of Transportation reports.

The department also has reopened westbound I-70 at Vail Pass. The highway is snowpacked with icy spots from Glenwood Springs to just west of Denver.

Also, some Colorado Springs churches, including New Life and Woodmen Valley Chapel, have cancelled evening activities on Sunday. Check for the latest delays and closures at gazette.com.

UPDATE: 3 p.m.

Northbound Interstate 25 is closed near Larkspur because of a crash, the Colorado State Patrol reports. There is no estimated time of reopening the highway.

UPDATE: 2:10 p.m.

Road conditions in much of the state are getting worse. Along the Front Range, the conditions have gone from wet to snow, slushy and icy spots on many stretches of highway.

Westbound Interstate 70 now closed at Georgetown, and eastbound I-70 is closed at Vail-Copper Mountain because of poor conditions.

The Colorado State Patrol reports multiple crashes on Interstate 25 just north of Larkspur, with at least two people taken to area hospitals.

Meanwhile, it's sunny and 75 degrees in Springfield, in southeastern Colorado

UPDATE: 1:45 p.m.

That National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory Colorado Springs and southern El Paso County through 6 a.m. Monday.

The north and west parts of the city could see up to 6 inches of snow, with 1-2 inches forecast to the south.

Gusty winds are expected to continue at 20-40 mph.

UPDATE: 1:10 p.m.

Westbound Interstate 70 was closed at 1:03 p.m. at the Eisenhower Tunnel due to adverse weather conditions.

UPDATE 1 p.m.:

The Colorado State Patrol reports multiple crashes on I-25 at Monument Hill. The state patrol reports heavy snow and ice on the highway.

The state patrol is on cold reporting status for El Paso County as well as Teller County.

UPDATE 12:40 p.m.:

Heavy snow in Teller County had caused multiple slide-offs on Colorado 67, the Colorado State Patrol reports. The state patrol is on cold-reorting status in Teller County, so any crashes that don't involve injury or drugs or alcohol should be reported online at crash.state.co.us, the state patrol said.

Several highways in northern Colorado also have lanes closed because of crashes and poor weather, the Colorado Department of Transportation reports. The closures include northbound Interstate 25 from Fort Collins to the Wyoming border, eastbound U.S. 40 at Rabbit Ears Pass and northbound U.S. 287 from Ted's Place to Wyoming border and U.S. 285 in both directions six miles north of Fairplay.

According to emergency radio traffic, slide-offs also are being reported on I-25 north of Colorado Springs.

The National Weather Service said a foot of snow had fallen in the foothills of Larimer County by Sunday morning.

The winter storm warning remains in effect for all of northwestern Colorado, including the Denver area, until Monday morning. In addition, the weather service has issued a winter storm watch for parts of western and central Colorado, including Canon City, Gunnison, Creede and LaVeta Pass.

A freeze warning was issued for a swatch of south-central Colorado, including Colorado Springs and Pueblo.

For the latest on Colorado roads closures, click here.

-

EARLIER STORY:

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for a late spring storm that is expected to hammer much of northern Colorado, including northern El Paso County and Teller County with up to a foot of snow in some places.

The warning stretches from 9 a.m. to noon Monday for most areas, although the snow is expected to start earlier in the central mountains.

A high of 46 degrees Sunday was forecasted for Colorado Springs. The downtown area started to receive blowing snow around 10:30 a.m.

Area's expected to get hit include central and southeast Park County, Elbert and central and east Douglas counties above 6,000 feet including the cities of Fairplay, Hartsel, Lake George, South Park, Castle Rock, Kiowa and Larkspur.

Woodland Park, Denver and Fort Collins are also included in the warning.

"This is one last don't forget about me while I'm gone kind-of thing," said Peggy Perales, hydrometeological technician at the National Weather Service office in Pueblo.

Airlines at Denver International Airport are deicing planes prior to takeoff, but hasn’t reported any cancelled flights as of 11:30 p.m. Follow DIA on Twitter here.

Colorado Springs - which had been forecast to get hit with as much as five inches of snow - will escape the brunt of the storm under the latest forecast. The latest from Colorado Springs Airport

"We don't have any warnings or watches or advisories out for the Springs Sunday," Perales said. "What we're looking for is strong winds, 45-50 mph with a chance of rain in the morning and periods of rain and snow during the afternoon."

As it gets later in the day there will be more snow, with a total accumulation of about two inches expected.

"A lot of it is going to be wet and it's going to be mixed with the rain," Perales said.

Further north, however, it will be different story.

One to four inches are expected in the Castle Rock area and through Monument with higher amounts in certain areas.

"It's going to be pretty variable as to how much they get," she said.

The main thrust of the storm up north will develop first as rain, mixed with snow Sunday morning.

By midday Sunday, it will turn into snow only and continue through Sunday night with accumulations of six inches to a foot.

The heavy snow coupled with high northeast winds up to 30 mph is expected to reduce visibility to less than a quarter mile.

The snow is expected to slow by late Monday morning, the weather service said.

"We are expecting from five to 10 inches along the urban corridor from Fort Collins to Castle Rock," said Kyle Fredin, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boulder.

The forecast for later in the week calls for a slow warm-up, but the weather will remain unsettled, he said.

"This is pretty normal for Denver and the urban corridor," Fredin said. "The wettest month of the year is May, only this time it is snow."

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