Southern Colorado | Always Watching Out For You

Live blog: I-25 reopens, abandoned cars remain on smaller roads

7:00 UPDATE

The City of Colorado Springs will resume normal operations Friday. Check coloradosprings.gov for additional information.

CSPD responded to 1,100 calls for stuck or stranded drivers since Wednesday.

5:35 UPDATE

All services in El Paso County, including courts, will be open Friday.

The city of Colorado Springs offers some post-storm safety tips to keep your home and family safe.

4:33 UPDATE

Woodmen Rd. is now open between I-25 and Meridian.

According to the city of Colorado Springs, crews continue to make progress on clearing primary and secondary roads. They are also starting on neighborhood streets in areas that saw more than six inches of snow.

4:10 p.m. UPDATE

If you live out in Black Forest you saw a lot of snow on Wednesday. The problem is many were at work when the blizzard came in. Thanks to El Paso County crews they were able to return home late Thursday.

3:58 p.m. UPDATE

Is your tree damaged or fallen? You can now visit coloradosprings.gov/downtree to report a problem to the City of Colorado Springs.

3:20 p.m. UPDATE

The City of Colorado Springs says operations are returning to normal at the airport. You should still check with your airline about flight status and seat availability due to all the cancellations this week.

2:52 p.m. UPDATE

The Colorado Department of Transportations reports the removal of abandoned cars and plowing of I-25 in both directions is complete, allowing traffic to now move between Monument and Castle Rock. That means the interstate is open once again from Colorado Springs to Denver.

2:50 p.m. UPDATE

From the Colorado Springs Police Department: If you abandoned your vehicle during the blizzard, check nearby parking lots as that’s where they were likely moved by tow trucks. If not, call the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (719-520-7100).

Abandonded Cars on Woodmen Rd
News5’s Bill Folsom found plenty of abandoned cars on Woodmen Rd. (KOAA)

1:56 UPDATE

According to a CDOT press conference, I-25 northbound lanes from Baptist road to Castle Rock area are set to open in about 30 minutes. Southbound lanes between Castle Rock and Monument are set to open in about the next two hours.

CDOT reports that I-70 is now open in both directions and I-76 is in the process of opening.

1:46 p.m. UPDATE

CDOT says crews are still working to clear seven 18-wheelers stuck on northbound I-25 between Monument and Castle Rock.  If progress is made on that effort, the road could open by 4 p.m.


1:45 p.m. UPDATE

News5’s Bill Folsom is riding shotgun with Photojournalist Adam Knapik as they head out east to see road conditions, and dozens of abandoned cars, in eastern El Paso County.


1:27 p.m. UPDATE: El Paso County has set up an information line to answer non-emergency questions residents may have about storm-related questions.

That number is 719-575-8888 until 6 p.m. Thursday.


11:40 a.m. UPDATE

In case you were planning to head up to America’s Mountain for a post-blizzard view.. don’t bother. Pikes Peak will remain closed for the day.

11:32 a.m. UPDATE

Law enforcement is diverting passenger cars off of I-25 northbound at Fillmore St. to allow semi trucks room to move forward and park. Only semis (Commercial Motor Vehicles) are being allowed to proceed northbound on I-25.

I-25 closed at Garden of the Gods
I-25 closed at Garden of the Gods to allow semis to park. Backup for miles. (Colorado Springs Police)

11:00 a.m. UPDATE

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office shared photos of a long string of cars stuck on I-25 just past the El Paso County line. All of the abandoned vehicles will need to be moved off the road before plows can clear the road.

I-25 stranded cars
Stranded cars on northbound I-25 (Photos: Douglas County Sheriff’s Office)

10:24 a.m. UPDATE

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Ofice is now reporting that the number of unchecked abandoned vehicles in the county area has dropped from 1100 to 200. However, it’s possible that people are still inside those remaining vehicles.

The sheriff’s office is still only responding to priority one calls, which are life-threatening calls only. Lt. Huffor with the sheriff’s office said authorities are about 150 calls behind, down from about 800 last night.

El Paso County Sheriff’s deputies said it will still need to move hundreds of vehicles to the side of the road to allow plows to go through.

He said most of those calls are welfare check calls to check on loved ones.

Emergency managers are still urging people to stay off the roads to allow the snow plows can operate.

“The roads are extremely dangerous right now and our crews are being hampered by a significant number of abandoned vehicles on the roadway,” Scot Cuthbertson, with El Paso County Public Works.

The National Guard is assisting law enforcement and public works officials to help search the remaining vehicles.

Crews have been able to clear one-lane paths along Woodmen Road and Voyager Parkway. However, abandoned vehicles are still blocking lanes. Authorities will now have to tow vehicles to the side of the road to allow plows a clear path.

People should not try to tow their own vehicles. Stay away from the areas where teams are searching and trying to clear roads.

Colorado Springs Street Division Manager Corey Farkas said plow crews are working on primary and secondary roads Thursday morning, but they’re hoping to get to residential streets later on Thursday.


8:53 a.m. UPDATE

We are hearing reports of power lines down in the eastern portion of El Paso County where strong wind gusts in excess of 70 miles an hour were reported. Crews are finding these issues as they head out on Highway 24 and Highway 94.   MORE INFORMATION on power outages and how to find information from your electricity provider.

Stranded Cars
An abandoned car near Falcon (Adam Knapik – KOAA)

8:19 a.m. UPDATE

The Colorado National Guard now reports that it has rescued 75 stranded drivers and two dogs using tracked vehicles and high wheeled vehicles.

National Guard troops have been assisting with rescues in El Paso County, Douglas County, Elbert County and Arapahoe County.


(Above: News5’s Livestream features the most recent newscast or live events)

8:07 a.m. UPDATE

Reminder: I-25 northbound remains closed past Woodmen Rd. Our Shayla Girardin and Patrick Godfrey are finally heading back to the station on southbound I-25 which opened below Monument. Travel is still not advised. Our crew has remained in the field since arriving early Wednesday morning.

8:00 a.m. UPDATE

Don’t expect to catch a bus today as Mountain Metro is not in operation due to dangerous road conditions.

7:48 a.m. UPDATE

The following shelters are open to service those in need:

  • Homeless Shelter available at Springs Rescue Mission; 5 W. Las Vegas Ave, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Woodmen Valley Chapel West; 290 E Woodmen Rd, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Woodmen Valley Chapel East; 8292 Woodmen Valley Vw, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Mountain Springs Church, 7345 Adventure Way, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Falcon Patriot Learning Center; 11990 Swingline Road, Peyton, CO
  • Calhan St. Paul’s; 1450 5th St, Calhan, CO
  • Monument St. Peter’s; 55 Jefferson St, Monument, CO
  • New Covenant Church; 77 Perry Park Ave, Larkspur, CO
  • Black Forest Community Church, 6845 Shoup Rd, Black Forest, CO (Note: A phone number is posted on the door, call and the shelter will be opened)
  • Douglas County Fairgrounds; 500 Fairgrounds Rd, Castle Rock, CO

7:37 a.m. UPDATE

If you are still stranded in your car, stay with your vehicle, run the engine and heater for about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm. Do this ONLY if your exhaust pipe is clear. Be sure to open a downwind window slightly to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Call 911 if you have a medical emergency.

If you are not on the road, STAY HOME. That’s the message across the region due to dangerous road conditions and concerns more commuters will impact rescue operations.

7:23 a.m. UPDATE

Be aware of road closures across the region including portions of I-25, Highway 24, Highway 94, and Woodmen Road. CLICK HERE to see the full list being updated by the News5 Digital Team.

7:15 a.m. UPDATE

El Paso County Search and Rescue reports receiving about 40 medical calls before dawn. The crews are out in tracked snow cats focusing on stranded drivers with medical issues. Nine additional snow cats from Search and Rescue, the State of Colorado, Colorado Parks & Wildlife, Colorado Springs Utilities, and private contractors are now on duty in the northern and eastern portions of the county.7:00 a.m. UPDATE

The City of Colorado Springs is focusing on rescue operations for people still stranded in cars. Plowing roads is a key part of the post-blizzard efforts. Travel is NOT recommended. Getting out today will only slow down recovery efforts.

Benjamin Lloyd

Benjamin Lloyd

Digital Executive Producer for KOAA News 5. Email - blloyd@koaa.com Twitter: @Ben_L_Lloyd​
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