High Winds Hammer Colorado Springs, Southern Colorado
Extreme winds in southern Colorado Monday prompted the closures of the El Paso County Courthouse and Cheyenne Mountain State Park. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) also placed restrictions on high profile commercial vehicles on El Paso County roads. The department also barred the vehicles, including semi- and tractor- trailers, from Interstate 25 between Monument and the New Mexico state line after multiple rollover accidents. This restriction was lifted around 7:40 Monday evening.
CDOT says as of Monday afternoon, 16 rollover accidents had occurred on I-25, and that most of the cleanup will occur once the wind dies down.
OBSERVED wind gusts at 1 pm today: #cowx pic.twitter.com/NGnbFuRKgG
— NWS Pueblo (@NWSPueblo) January 9, 2017
In a press release, Colorado Springs city officials say the city's Forestry Department is responding to a high volume of calls for downed trees. The downtown and west side are the most affected. As of 11:30 AM, 18,000 people served by Colorado Springs Utilities were affected by power outages. That number was down to just over 8100 as of 4 PM.
The city also suspended the Mountain Metropolitan Transit bus service for a portion of the day, and advised people to stay indoors due to flying debris. Those on Fort Carson were also advised to shelter in place; that advisory has now been lifted.
Power outages and high profile vehicle driving restrictions have prompted a number of closures and travel alerts.
Colorado Springs isn't the only city impacted...
#PuebloFire on scene of Power pole broken by wind closing intersection on Pueblo's south side. #cowx pic.twitter.com/e7Y8bXMdxC
— Pueblo Fire Dept (@PFDPIO) January 9, 2017
A high wind warning has been in effect in the Pikes Peak region since the early Monday morning hours. Originally expected to expire at 5:00 PM, the warning has been extended until 8:00 PM. That's when others in southern Colorado will also see their warnings expire. For the Sangre de Cristo's, the high wind warning remains in effect until noon tomorrow.
According to the National Weather Service in Pueblo, the highest wind gust as of mid-afternoon occurred Monday morning. Cheyenne Mountain Air Station saw a wind gust of 101 miles per hour.
The El Paso County Courthouse is expected to reopen Tuesday at noon.
Post updated: 7:55 PM, Monday 1/9/17
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