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Live Blog: News5 coverage of blizzard impact on Colorado

6:33 p.m. UPDATE

The City of Colorado Springs wants anyone who abandoned their car in the snow, and cannot find it now, to call 719-444-7000 after Colorado Springs Police have returned to normal operations. Police are only addressing Priority 1 (serious) emergency calls.

6:00 p.m. UPDATE

Colorado Springs Utilities reports at least 3,800 customers are without power. Full restoration may not happen until tomorrow as crews are working to address 151 electrical hazards and 118 outages.


5:30 p.m. UPDATE

All flights out of the Colorado Springs Airport are officially canceled. Please contact your airline to reschedule or if you have a flight scheduled for Thursday.

5:15 p.m. UPDATE

The Colorado Department of Transportation is going to work as long as safely possible to clear I-25 of abandoned or stranded cars from Colorado Springs to Lone Tree. However, it likely will remain closed all night long. Its a difficult task getting rescue vehicles to the area, moving all of the cars, then bringing in the plows.

5:00 p.m. UPDATE

Colorado Springs Police have closed northbound I-25 at N Nevada Ave in order to allow officers to guide up to 100 stuck cars off the interstate between Woodmen Rd. and N Academy Blvd.

4:25 p.m. UPDATE

The Emergency Operations Center for El Paso County and Colorado Springs reports there are at least 1,100 stranded motorists across the region and more than 18,000 without power.

Visibility conditions continue to cause issues with getting plows on the roads, along with all of the stranded cars blocking the roads.

Please do not call 9-1-1 unless it is truly an emergency.

There are at least 11 options available in the area to assist people in need of a place to get out of the cold.


4:10 p.m. UPDATE

Colorado State Patrol reports Corporal Daniel Groves was helping a car that slid off the road on I-76 when he was struck and killed by a driver who lost control of his car. READ MORE

3:15 p.m.  UPDATE

The Colorado Office of Emergency Management tweeted that Gov. Polis has authorized the activation of the Colorado National Guard.

The troops will be activated for search and rescue and life safety operations to help stranded drivers around the state. The Colorado State Emergency Operations Center moved to Level II Operations status as well.

2:48 p.m. UPDATE

Colorado Springs firefighters are dealing with some very risky behavior at the Manitou Incline.  News5’s Sam Kraemer talked with people that just finished hiking the Incline. He asked them why they decided to hike during a blizzard to which they replied, “It’s not crowded, it’s beautiful and it’s really not that bad.” The hikers were apparently experienced and had microspikes for the snow.

CSFD gearing up for high-angle rescue on Manitou Incline

2:37 p.m. UPDATE: All outgoing flights from the Colorado Springs Airport have been canceled. All runways have also been shut down at DIA due to extremely high winds.

2:28 p.m. UPDATE: The City of Colorado Springs issued an urgent warning for all residents to stay off of roads due to the number of stranded vehicles. The city said it is impeding operations for city and county plow crews and emergency responders.

1:44 p.m. UPDATE:

Highway 83 between Franktown and the El Paso County-Douglas County line is CLOSED.

1:42 p.m. UPDATE:

The Colorado Springs Airport has confirmed all flights today are cancelled. Denver International Airport has closed all runways due to poor conditions. Airlines have cancelled flights for the early afternoon and evening.

1:21 p.m. UPDATE: The National Weather Service in Pueblo is reporting a 96-mph wind gust at the Colorado Springs Airport.

That speed is within the range of an EF-1 tornado.

Colorado Springs residents should move away from windows and move to interior rooms of their home.

1:07 p.m. UPDATE: The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office reports that 500 drivers are stranded around the area. The county has issued an urgent alert asking drivers to stay off of roads in Colorado Springs and in Colorado Springs.

Colorado Springs Utilities is reporting two separate power outages affecting nearly 3,000 people from N. Nevada Avenue to Palmer Park.

The new outages come after CSU crews restored power to the Air Force Academy and the Cimarron Hills area after power was knocked out for about an hour this afternoon.

Meanwhile, Mountain View Electric reports that some of its equipment has been damaged from the storm. The company also reports that there are multiple outages reported.

A number of affected customers has not yet been announced.

12:43 p.m. UPDATE:  More power outages are being reported in the Monument area.

We are having trouble accessing the outage map for Mountain View Electric Association.

Other outages have been reported in the Security-Widefield by News5 employees. We’re working to get more information about these outages. We will update this story when we have more information.

12:23 p.m. UPDATE: A new power outage is affecting approximately 1,813 customers around the Air Force Academy.

Colorado Springs Utilities said the outage happened around 11:55 a.m.

Meanwhile, the power outage in the Cimarron Hills area has been reduced from 5,066 customers to 1,679 customers.

12:01 p.m. UPDATE: A power outage is affecting approximately 5,066 Colorado Springs Utilities customers in the Cimarron Hills area of Colorado Springs.

The outage expanded from 1,465 customers to more than 5,000 just after 12:03 p.m.

The outage is expected to be repaired at 2 p.m., but the strongest winds with the storm are expected later this afternoon.

11:31 a.m. UPDATE: I-25 is CLOSED from Woodmen Road to Castle Rock. Conditions will not improve. Roads surface conditions will only become worse as the day progresses.

Multiple crashes have been reported along I-25 in Colorado Springs and other major highways are shut down east of Colorado Springs.

10:31 a.m. UPDATE: The Office of Emergency Management is open and in full operation today for the first time as a combined entity of the City of Colorado Springs and El Paso County.

Shelters have been opened in Peyton and Calhan for people who are stranded in the storm.  Water and snacks will be provided for people who stay there. Police have also opened another warming shelter near the intersection of I-25 and Woodmen.

  • Woodmen Valley Chapel (8282 Woodman Valley View)– Near the inetersection of Woodmen and Marksheffel
  • Woodmen Valley Chapel (290 E Woodmen Road)
  • Peyton High School
  • Patriot Learning Center (Falcon)
  • Peyton Fire Department
  • St Paul’s Church (Calhan)
  • St. Peter’s Church (Monument)
  • Kilmer Elementary

The Springs Rescue Mission is also open with 450 beds total, with 95 beds available as of last night. Any homeless people needing shelter are welcome to avoid serious injury or illness in these poor conditions.

Colorado Emergency Mangement shared this map of shelter and emergency operation centers open in Colorado.

Most of the El Paso County plow trucks have been forced to park until conditions improve. However, Colorado Springs City Public Works has 40 plows out around town clearing roads as part of a full call-out. There’s a shift change coming at noon.  Everyone is advised to stay off the roads as traffic impedes the ability of plow drivers to do their work. If visibility drops to a dangerous level, the plows will not be in operation due to safety concerns.

Colorado Springs Utilities crews are monitoring the situation closely. There was a power outage this morning on Platte Avenue due to a downed power line. Crews had power restored to about 7,600 customers within an hour.

As a result of the downed line, Platte Avenue will remain closed “for the majority of the day.”

City Forestry is concerned about down or damaged trees due to high winds and heavy snow. Do not approach a tree if it appears in danger of falling. Call 719-385-5942 to report the tree.

10:07 a.m. UPDATE:Bus service from Mountain Metro is shut down as of 1:00 p.m. All buses will go to the end of the line before a return to the Transit facility.

UCCS planned to close at noon, but at 11:00 a.m. told all students to leave immediately before conditions became too poor to travel.


Red Cross shelters open

Weather closings and delays: Wednesday, March 13


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